It was a far cry from their unbeaten title of last year, but Waves Gold still completed a hat-trick of Bundaberg Netball Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership triumphs this year.
Waves defeated the Hurricanes at the Superpark 43-42.
Waves Gold had lost just two games all season, both to Hurricanes, including in the major semi-final a fortnight earlier 48-46.
They put their stamp on the decider, establishing an 11-8 lead by quarter-time, and increasing their advantage to 26-20 by half-time despite a Brothers fightback late in the second stanza.
The Hurricanes picked themselves up off the canvas and turned it on with a 16-7 third quarter to lead 36-33 at the last break.
However, Waves also showed their character, also digging deep to level the scores at 36-all three minutes into the last quarter, before the pulsating seesawing goal for goal end to end battle continued, with Gold ultimately holding on by a solitary goal.
Every player from both sides played their heart out, and netball was the real winner.
While congratulations go to Waves, Brothers stalwart and club champion Katie-Jay Illingworth received some consolation for the heart-breaking loss when she was a deserved winner of the Player of the Grand Final.
Waves coach and club icon Sandy Baker said a tactical move had enabled them to wrestle back the momentum and retain the trophy.
“I made changes in the final quarter back to how we were playing in the first half which proved successful,” Sandy said.
“Macey Egan had a blinder in the semi-final but was injured so couldn’t play in the final.
“But overall, the team combined well with captain and Wing Attack Natasha Cross leading from the front and the defence outstanding – Breanna Simpson, Maddison Spencer and Evette Land were great in defence – also Hazel Mauga and Grace Whaleboat controlled the centre court, and Jamaya Bentley shot at a high percentage.”
Centre Hazel later received the Association’s coveted Senior Sportsperson Player of the Year Open CPL Player of the Season Award, and Jamaya took out both the Open CPL Player of the Season and Senior Individual Goal Shooting Award with an impressive 80%, and Gold also clinched the Senior Team Goal Shooting gong with 74.5%.
Four players were part of their three-peat of 2019-21-22 (2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19), Goal Attack Kendal Dodd, Jamaya, Breanna, and Grace, with 19-year-old Goalkeeper Evette, Hazel, and Goal Attack Tayla Crossley joining the team in 2021, and Goal Defence Maddison savouring her first Premiership in Gold colours.
Brothers were however the most successful club overall, winning five of the other 10 premierships up for grabs, with their Thunder team rumbling in D2, Storm striking in D6, Volcanoes erupting against Whirlwinds in an intra-club D8 decider, Avalanches sweeping all before them in D9, and Heat too hot to handle in D10.
Natives and Fusion each snared two premierships with Swans (Masters) and Rosellas (D3) flying the flag for the former, and Magic Sultans (D5) and Sandhills (D7) triumphing for the latter.
Alloway also claimed a share of the spoils with their Aqua outfit coming to the fore in D4.
The remaining Players of the Finals were Allie Geiger (Natives Eagles, Division 2), Kristy Bilby (Alloway Green, Masters), Ebony Baigrie (Natives Rosellas, D3), Sienna Nagas (Natives Firebirds, D4), Mia Porter (Fusion Magic Sultans, D5), Narie Patullo (Brothers Storm, D6), Zoey Kelly (Fusion Sandhills, D7), Dakota McIvor (Brothers Volcanoes, D8), Mia Brennan (Brothers Avalanches, D9), and Indi Hodge (Brothers Heat, D10).
The other Sportsperson Players of the Year winners were Rakaia Kaye (Fusion Sandhills, Schoolgirls), Abby Stevens (Alloway Aqua, Junior), Kaylee Hartfiel Hammond (Alloway Red, Intermediate), and Karen Collin (Natives Swans, Association), who was also the Masters Attacker of the Season.
Abby also added the Player of the Season-Representative Player of the Year double, in Division 4 and 14 years.
Player of the Season honours also went to Nicola Johnson (Waves Silver, Division 2), Portia Hancock (Waves Aqua, D3), Melinda Northcott (Natives Macaws, Masters), Hannah Parton (Brothers Wildfires, D5), Emily Atkinson (Waves Sapphires, D6), Tenne Baigrie (Natives Kingfishers, D7), Felicity Avery (Brothers Whirlwinds, D8), Reese Aylett (Natives Hawks, D9), and Liana Johnson (Fusion Precision, D10).
Representative Players of the Year also included Sophie Moore (Natives, Under-17/1 CPL) who was also the Division 1 Defender of the Season, Briony Thompson (Alloway, Masters CPL), Georgie Stephenson (Brothers, 17/2 CPL), Allie Geiger (Natives, 17 years) who also claimed the Division 2 Defender of the Season, Jasmine Gill (Brothers 16yrs), Jessica Taylor (Brothers, 15yrs), Sienna Nagas (Natives 13/1 years), Elizabeth Reilly (Alloway, 13/2 years), Imogen Anderson (Brothers, 12yrs), Indi Hodge (Brothers, 11yrs Crackers), and Katelyn Taylor (Brothers, 11yrs Strikers).
Association legend Betty Wallace was a popular winner of the Service to Netball silverware.
Service to Netball: Betty Wallace
Wan Man Trophy: Shahni Hassell (Brothers)
Sportsperson Player of the Year – Schoolgirls – Rakaia Kaye (Fusion Sandhills); Junior – Abby Stevens (Alloway Aqua); Intermediate – Kaylee Hartfiel Hammond (Alloway Red); Association – Karen Collin (Natives Swans); Senior – Hazel Magua (Waves Gold)
Rookie of The Year: Bailey Grigg (Natives AIM Hearing Magpies)
Norris Junior Umpiring: Ebony Baigrie (Natives)
Rep Players of the Year: 11 Years Crackers – Indi Hodge (Brothers); 11 Years Strikers – Katelyn Taylor (Brothers); 12 Years – Imogen Anderson (Brothers); 13/2 Years – Elizabeth Reilly (Alloway); 13/1 Years – Sienna Nagas (Natives); 14 Years – Abby Stevens (Alloway); 15 Years – Jessica Taylor (Brothers); 16 Years – Jasmine Gill (Brothers); 17 Years – Allie Geiger (Natives); 17/2 CPL – Georgie Stephenson (Brothers); 17/1 CPL – Sophie Moore (Natives); Masters CPL – Briony Thompson (Alloway); Open CPL – Jamaya Bentley (Waves)
Goal Shooting – Individual & Teams: Junior Individual – Jessica Brooks (74.5% – Natives AIM Hearing Magpies); Senior Individual- Jamaya Bentley (80% – Waves Gold); School Girls Team Goaling Aggregate (216 goals – Waves Teal); Junior Team Goal Shooting (65% Alloway Aqua); Senior Team Goal Shooting (74.5% Waves Gold)
Undefeated Teams – Season 2022: Natives Kingfishers & Waves Teal
Player of the Season: Div 10 – Liana Johnson (Fusion Precision); Div 9 – Reese Aylett (Natives Hawks); Div 8 – Felicity Avery (Brothers Whirlwinds); Div 7 – Tenne Baigrie (Natives Kingfishers); Div 6 – Emily Atkinson (Waves Sapphires); Div 5 – Hannah Parton (Brothers Wildfires); Div 4 – Abby Stevens (Alloway Aqua); Div 3 – Portia Hancock (Waves Aqua); Masters – Melinda Northcott (Natives Macaws); Div 2 – Nicola Johnson (Waves Silver); Div 1 – Hazel Magua (Waves Gold)
Defender of the Season: Div 10 – Demi Diaz (Alloway Orange); Div 9 – Emily Daniel (Alloway Lavender); Div 8 – Aleyah Tye Johnson (Waves Maroon); Div 7 – Lily Devlin (Fusion Wessel Petroleum); Div 6 – Dena O'Donnell (Fusion Brendan O'Donnell); Div 5 – Amoyide Adeniji (Waves Pink); Div 4 – Ella Davidson (Alloway Maroon); Div 3 – Hannah Russo (Brothers Monsoons); Masters – Jacinta King (Brothers Tsunami); Div 2 – Alli Geiger (Natives Eagles); Div 1 – Sophie Moore (Natives AIM Hearing Magpies)
Attackers of the Season: Div 10 – Natalie Lamont (Waves Fuschia); Div 9 – Paige Pershouse King (Fusion Shift Auto); Div 8 – Georgia Rae (Waves Maroon); Div 7 – Rakaia Kaye (Fusion Sandhills); Div 6 – Carlie Head (Waves Sapphires); Div 5 – Ashlee McLean (Waves Pink); Div 4 – Lily Prada Tiger (Natives Firebirds); Div 3 – Ebony Baigrie (Natives Rosellas); Masters – Karen Collin (Natives Swans); Div 2 – Jessica Hill (Waves Red); Div 1 – Holly Kitchen (Alloway Blue)
Encouragement & Most Improved Awards: Div 10 – Tamika Hay (Fusion Precision) Encouragement Award; Div 10 – Madelin Flor (Alloway Orange) Most Improved; Div 9 – Ella Tucker (Brothers Avalanches) Encouragement Award; Div 9 – Emily Black (Alloway Lavender) Most Improved.
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