Northern Netball League – Division 4 – 2014
Lakeside 29 def Watsonia 20
In a way that only Disney can, last night they turned the Lakeside 2 Juggernaut into a Threepeat Premiership Movie Trilogy Spectacular. Just like Champions (2012) and The Mighty Ducks 2 (2013), D3: The Mighty Ducks (2014) had Premiers written all over it.
Does anyone even know what I’m talking about anymore…? #awkward.
Anyway, after a long, sometimes eyebrow raising but always enjoyable and rewarding season Lakeside 2 found themselves in their third straight Division 4 Grand Final. Never did the coaches and players of 2012 think after losing the first five games straight of that season that they had the beginnings of a dynasty on their hands. And yet, so it was.
We arrived. On time. And with 9 players. Most of us looked around awkwardly and wondered what to do, this had never really happened before… And then we found out they were running 20 minutes late on our court, so we wouldn’t be starting until 10:20pm. I’m sure it was a reasonable time to play netball somewhere in the world… just not in Bundoora.
It was a positively tropical evening in the sacred sporting mecca that is…uh… Parade College. Our Production Crew (the Baby Jesus, Allah, Mohammed, Buddha, the musical producers and Walt Disney) were back, the crowd members were on the edge of their seats (mainly because they had dozed off and were about to fall off them) and the fashion accessory of the night was a blanket. We took to the court with gusto after a rousing version of the National Anthem which briefly woke the spectators from their slumber.
The first half was a see-sawing affair (commonly used to build tension in the plot) which saw the girls challenged across the court and a few passes go astray due to nerves and over-enthusiasm. And the somewhat misleading perception that Griz and Shenae are actually 6’2 tall. Watsonia got their noses in front in the 2nd Quarter but the exceptional defensive effort by Sarah, Bianca and Cam kept us in the game as the score remained one goal the difference coming into half time.
During a rousing half-time speech from the pseudo Captain/Coach (our other Coach Ali May had undertaken the very serious and long heralded Lakeside 2 Tradition of ‘Altitude Training’ for the weekend), the girls were gently reminded that:
A. They were superstars.
B. This was the Premiership Quarter.
C. To have fun.
D. And that they were infinitely taller, faster, more skillful and all-round generally better looking than the opposition so they were bound to win.
E. Bianca brought lollies for after the game.
It was the stuff they write Denzel Washington’s speeches out of. Minus the headset, and the clipboard, and the Our Father said on one knee and the 7 Assistant Coaches and the underlying racial tensions. Oh and the Titans.
The 3rd Quarter started and BOOM! Someone cue the Oscar Winning Whitney/Mariah chorus because the girls put their foot down, everywhere. It started raining goals, intercepts, pressure, throw-ins, penalties and passes into the goal ring that would make Lisa Alexander swoon. When the time came for the Premiers to stand up, they did.
Lakeside 2 took a 10 goal lead into the last quarter and despite a few heartened efforts by the Watsonia girls, they never looked like pegging back that lead as the reigning Premiers went from strength to strength on the court. The juggernaut that had coughed, spluttered and lurched along all season finally sprang into life for the last 20 magical minutes of Season 2014, and straight into the history books (and Disney archives). With the victorious Whitney/Mariah music blasting in the background (of my imagination), Lakeside 2 wound down the clock and won convincingly 29 to 20.
And the crowd went WILD! Mainly because they could finally all go home.
Special Mentions for the night go to:
Le CamBron James-Ferrer: Consistently intercepted, provided options and terrorized the opposition, AND ate avocado toast before netball, for the second week in a row. Simply outstanding.
Sarah ‘Smiling’ Samanna: Intercepted and rebounded so many times I don’t actually remember seeing a GA playing… AND she brought her mum for the second week in a row. Someone inform her she’s now a permanent member of our cheersquad.
Tina ‘Stealth is my Middle Name’ Nguyen: Flashed onto court like a rocket and drove to the ring, drove to the goal line, drove to the centre court and drove the opposition to despair.
Maddy ‘Ninja’ Coreno: Maddy flying through the air, Maddy flying over there, Maddy drives them to despair, Maddy flying everywhere!
Lenore ‘Little Miss Fixit’ Smith: For her final trick of the season, filled in as the Captain/Coach, the only thing she hasn’t done is umpire the team. Made a cameo appearance on court to keep the fans happy before repairing to the bleachers to compose her inspirational Denzel-like half time address, and to mind Bianca’s lollies.
Em ‘Smiley’ Borci: Lived up to her nickname by blinding the opposition with deft moves, sharp passes, dead-eye dick shooting and smiles all game. She smiled so much, even my mum noticed. (And unless you’re Prince Harry my mum doesn’t usually notice anything)
Shenae ‘On Time’ Riding: Turned up on time and then turned the pressure up as she whipped around the court in her new favourite position of WA, sending some sublime passes into Griz…
Alicija Griz ‘Mini Browny’ Marko Rawlings: Turned on a Schitzy like performance of shooting and mid-court dominance to give the Watsonia defenders nightmares for the next 2 years. They paid a premium price for front row tickets to the Griz Show – in the form of a Premiership Cup.
As with all good Disney sporting movies, the opposition team had a key player who was destined to rip us to shreds if she was not defeated by a player who has had their troubles and doubts all season and must overcome them to complete this massive task. The Watsonia GS was the leading scorer for Division 4 this season (not that anyone else knew because I kept it a secret #sneaky) and was a key threat coming into this game. Using the coaching expertise I have honed over the last thirteen years, I threw the GD and GK bibs at our defenders with the sage advice: ‘Sort yourselves out girls’ and left them to it.
It worked. Just as the plotline suggests, Bianca aka ‘The Longest Arms in Div 4’ Moffat has had her doubts this season; mainly surrounding where on earth all of these random stadiums we play in are. So she was primed to give the Watsonia GS an absolute toweling and did she ever. By the end of the game, the GS had missed more than she’d shot, rebounded absolutely nothing, looked uncomfortable all game and had everyone looking at me with raised eyebrows when I told them she was actually the leading shooter in the Division, who never misses. This little battle did not escape the Umpires, who awarded Bianca with the BOG. Possibly the first time in the history of netball a GK has ever been awarded one of those.
And finally, a special mention to our Supporters – Polly, Claire & Annie Mac, Reb Mac, Skip, The Smith Family, Mrs Samanna, Maddy & Bianca’s other halves, Mrs Griz, esteemed Lakeside President Monica Borci, esteemed WPL President John & Brenda Schott and the surprise appearance of my two best friends Von & Bek – one who is 38 weeks pregnant and the other who knows nothing about netball. Thank you all for braving the cold, and the time and deciding that we were more important than whoever was playing football – we truly appreciate it!
As we cast our mind back over the season that was, we must remind ourselves that dynasties like this one are built upon the hopes, dreams, dedication, chocolate slice, blankets, coaching expertise and commitment of many who come along every Friday night to represent our two great clubs, have a laugh with their friends and enjoy their netball. I’ve said the word threepeat more than is recommended in this report, but it really is something rather spectacular and thanks and kudos goes out to all of the girls who have played in our last three Premiership Teams, the coaches, the supporters and both the West Preston Lakeside Football Club and Lakeside Netball Club – stuff like this doesn’t just happen by magic, it takes work, planning, whiteboard supervision and someone to remember the damn bibs every week. So while the closing music is rolling, I’ve compiled a list of people who have been a part of this dynasty…
Wherever life takes you along its path, you were and will always be a part of the Friday Night Netball Family, this Premiership belongs to all of you!
2012 – Emily McKenzie (Captain) & Alison May (Captain), Lauren ‘Min/Cyril’ Allan, Jane ‘Schitzy’ Scheetz, Annie McDonagh, Jess‘Altitude Training’ Monaghan, Veronica ‘VRon’ Guthrie, Jess Grech, Lenore ‘Buddy’ Smith and Claire McDonagh, Bec Barker & Ashlee Lane (The Overseas/Achilles Crew).
Coaches: Adam McKenzie & Jake Williams
2013 – Alison May, Bec Barker, Camille Ferrer, Paige Zotti, Maddy Coreno,Allira Jane, Jo Sanders, Lauren ‘Min/Cyril’ Allan, Jess ‘I’m Still Altitude Training’ Monaghan & Lenore ‘Professional Fill-in’ Smith
Coach: Jane ‘Schitzy’ Scheetz
2014 – Alison ‘Dickie Knee’ May (Captain/Coach), Lenore ‘Am I Still Buddy?’ Smith (Captain), Alicija Griz Marko Rawlings, Shenae Riding, Tina Nguyen, Maddy Coreno, Camille Ferrer, Sarah Samanna, Bianca Moffatt & Emily ‘Smiley’ Borci
And our supporters & regular fill-ins – of course, the inimitable Polly Sleeman, Niall McDonagh (who could never quite get the coaching job), Reb McDonagh (the best legs at Lakeside), Bec Caminiti, Jill Byrnes,Leanne Arkell, Lucy Meaney, the entire Borci, McMahon and McDonagh Families and all of the Lakeside girls who are playing in our 1s and 3s this season.
The trials and triumphs of Lakeside 2 can be summarized by the words from the shining light in the pantheon of Disney Sporting Movies (D3: The Mighty Ducks – if you haven’t seen it, hurry the hell up would you! I’ve given you three weeks!)
Coach O’Ryan asks…’What’s the one thing all great teams have in common?
Confidence…It’s easy to be confident when you have control of the ball. It’s very, very difficult to keep that confidence when you gotta take whatever strange bounces life throws your way. Don’t be careless, but don’t be too careful either. You cannot be afraid to lose! That’s how you gain the confidence to attack the game when the ball isn’t yours. That’s how you attack life… even when you think you don’t have any control. And that’s how you win Premierships. (and sell movie tickets)’
And so Season 2014 came to an end, with another flag, another cup, another medal, another Disney reference and the glorious and victorious strains of Whitney/Mariah blaring in the background as the scriptwriters put the final touches on their finest masterpiece yet…
Lakeside 2: The Threepeat. Coming to a cinema near you!