Sapphire Coast has taken out the two divisions in the Regional State League – South Coast after winning both Division One and Division Two to be crowned 2013 Champions. This makes it back-to-back titles after the Association claimed the double last season.
Sapphire Coast Netball Association President Cathy Johnston says it is a great result for a small Association.
“We are incredibly proud of our senior and younger teams on being crowned the 2013 Regional State League champions, an incredible result considering our small size and how remote we are,” Johnston said.
“It’s always really pleasing to see we have some good depth for a small Association, with some great younger players coming through the system. Full credit goes to one of our coaches, Jodie Cronk, who has helped train the girls and get them to the level they are at.”
“The wins are certainly great preparation as we look towards the upcoming State and State Age Championships,” Johnston concluded.
In Division One, Sapphire Coast Opens were able to go through the season undefeated to claim the title. They defeated Illawarra 15s, 37-23, to advance straight to the Grand Final while Illawarra were given a second chance in the Preliminary Final against Yass Opens.
Illawarra 15s secured their spot in the Grand Final after overcoming Yass Opens convincingly, 61-22, to set up a Semi Final rematch against Sapphire Coast. The eventual champions led at every break, with the two teams setting up for an enthralling Grand Final with Illawarra just four goals behind at half time.
However, Sapphire Coast displayed the form that had kept them undefeated throughout the competition, holding Illawarra to just two goals in the third quarter, providing ahealthy 11 goal lead into the final quarter. Despite the young Illawarra side regrouping for the fourth quarter, the margin was too large to chase, with Sapphire Coast Opens claiming the title with a 33-21 victory.
After finishing the round robin stage in first and second, Sapphire Coast 17s and Kiama 17s went straight to the Grand Final to decide the 2013 Champion. Both teams had dropped just one game throughout the competition – Sapphire Coast going down to Illawarra 15s by one goal in Round 4, while Kiama lost to Sapphire Coast in Round 5 by 13.
Played in two 15 minute halves*, Sapphire Coast put on a classy opening quarter to lead by six goals at the first break. Kiama contested strongly to try to close the gap on the scoreboard, however Sapphire Coast held out to finish 22-10 to be crowned 2013 champions.
Division One – Finals
Semi Final: Sapphire Opens (37) def Illawarra 15s (23)
Prelim Final: Illawarra 15s (61) def Yass Opens (22)
Grand Final: Sapphire Coast Opens (33) def Illawarra 15s (21)
Division Two – Finals
Grand Final: Sapphire Coast 17s (22) def Kiama 17s (10)
Playoff (3rd v 4th): Illawarra 15s (18) def Southern Highlands 15s (14)
Playoff (5th v 6th): Eurobodalla 17s (24) def Queanbeyan 17s (15)
Playoff (7th v 7th): Eurobodalla 15s (13) drew Goulburn 17s (13)
* All Division Two games were played in this format throughout the season (2x 15min halves)