A recap of the 2023 section 1-4 winter netball grand finals, which were held at La Trobe Sports Stadium on Friday night.
Section 1: North Heidelberg 1 (64) defeated North Heidelberg 2 (40)
By Casey McGuire
North Heidelberg 1 ended their undefeated season with a Section 1 premiership following a dominant 24 goal win over North Heidelberg 2. It was another monster score for the Bulldogs first’s side, giving away very few turnovers while being able to capitalise off their own. It was the third quarter that really blew the margin out of the water, with North Heidelberg 1 taking it 21-8. Tara Watson was absolutely phenomenal in her 45 minutes on court with her ability to run through the line of the ball being a true highlight which helped her take out best on court honours. She completely shut down her wing attack on every move and left a true impression on everyone on and off the court. North Heidelberg 1 just about won every position they had out on court with each of their players getting the upper hand on their opponent, while the combination of Lilli Florance (21 goals) and Brooke Dadds (16) was the clear winner for North Heidelberg 2 with that combination performing the best for their side.
Section 2 – Hurstbridge 1 (22) defeated by Bundoora 2 (31)
By Josh Ward
Bundoora 2 secured the Section 2 premiership in terrific style, upsetting Hurstbridge 1 by nine goals. The Bulls were the side that settled into the game quicker and looked to create a big margin before the Bridges got themselves back into the contest to trail by four at the first break. The minor premiers in Hurstbridge looked in control throughout the second term and despite some initial resistance from the Bulls defensively, they were able to produce a nine-goal quarter to lead by two at half time. The Bridges again started strong in the third, but this time Bundoora’s defensive traits were showcased more prominently, and their efforts were soon rewarded with an impressive quarter that saw them lead by two goals at three quarter time. The Bulls then held the game in their hands in the final term, scoring eight of the first nine goals of the quarter to break the Grand Final open and prevail in brilliant fashion. After entering the game in the second term, Bundoora centre Bronte Green provided a spark in the middle of the court, with her stellar performance being rewarded with the best on court medal.
Section 3: Greensborough 1 (21) defeated by Hume 1 (23)
By Casey McGuire
A physical contest in the Section 3 Grand Final was proven to be one for the ages as Hume 1 came out victorious with a two-goal win over Greensborough 1. It was goal for goal in the second term, highlighting how neither side were willing to give an inch throughout the contest. Chloe Meulenmeesters was named best on court with her performance at goal keeper; her elevation was impeccable on the rebounds and she used her quick footwork to get around the Greensborough shooters, grabbing multiple deflections and intercepts as a result. After being down by three at half time, Greensborough came back for vengeance to lead by one at the last break. The Boro defenders were impressive in grabbing their own rebounds, while some slick transitions across the court putting Kelsey Makar in the perfect position convert scoring opportunities, going on to shoot seven of her 13 goals for the match in that quarter alone. Hume responded quickly thanks to the likes of Alysha Shephard (12) and Dakota Lister who well and truly rose to the occasion, and helped Hume claim the premiership.
Section 4 – Greensborough 2 (27) defeated by Heat 3 (31)
By Josh Ward
A great contest in the Section 4 decider resulted in Heat 3 securing a four-goal triumph over Greensborough 2. Heat was able to get off to a lightning quick start, scoring eight of the first nine goals inside the opening six minutes of the match to assume control by quarter time. Their good form continued into the early stages of the second term, but this time it couldn’t be sustained as the Boro slowly won the ball back and converted more chances on goal. Heat still had a comfortable advantage at half time but again, Greensborough continued to chip into the margin in the third quarter. The pressure from both teams rose substantially and while it was a five-goal difference at the final break, all was set up to be a thrilling last term. The Boro’s strong start to the fourth saw them cut the margin to as little as three goals late in the match, but Heat’s brilliant opening term proved to be enough to see them maintain Greensborough’s surge and finish as victors. Isabella Prout was a dominant force all night at wing attack, supplying strong feeds to Rupinder Kaur, Laura Murfett and Karrie Browning. Prout would finish with the best on court medallion.