JUMPING FOR JOY:
A sporting win always brings out excitement in the players. The open junior netball team Earth went through their season undefeated, a great thrill for (from left) Catie Bell, Bonnie Rabie, Millie Bell, Faith Howland, Bethany Vogelzang, Milly Howland, Alice Tehan, Jacinda Dixon-Rielly, Bella Butterworth and coach Judy Dixon.
WHAT a stellar season Mansfield’s Earth had winning the netball Open premiership in emphatic style on Saturday, defeating Benalla’s Raspberries 38 to 19.
Undefeated for the season, Earth was confident but not cocky and warmed up well, running through their routine to settle any ‘big day’nerves but the first few minutes of play saw missed shots and uncharacteristic mistakes.
Raspberries applied great pressure but Earth eventually settled, with Alice Tehan holding well for lob passes to the post and shooting well.
Earth had a four goal lead at quarter time.
Earth withstood a second quarter challenge and took crucial intercepts in the defence end to add to their lead by another three at half time.
Court positional changes altered the dynamic in Earth’s goal circle with Bethany Vogelzang and Faith Howland combining beautifully, fed skilfully by Bella Butterworth at C and Bonnie Rabie at WA.
Fast ball movement to players finding space was a joy to watch.
Some say games are won in defence and every player committed to whole of court pressure.
Jacinda Dixon-Rielly cemented her authority over Raspberries’ attack ably supported by Millie Bell, Faith Howland (in the first half), Catie Bell and Milly Howland.
The grand final was played in great spirits with girls from both teams giving their all in going for the ball.
Beth Vogelzang was a well-deserved MVP - a feat she repeated last year in the year 7 grand final.
It’s an outstanding effort to be undefeated all season in the Open section of nine teams.
Every player has to contribute and commit to a shared goal - as they did.
All girls put in at training and extra trainings - and with a handful of year 7s and novice or green players the improvement over the season was incredible.
Coach Judy Dixon and team manager Billie Vogelzang were thrilled with the girls’ efforts and self belief.
Co-captains Jacinda and Bethany and vice captain Bella showed great leadership on and off the court.
The trio can be particularly proud of their back to back undefeated premiership run.