RGS Storm comes from fourth to win grand final
NETBALL: RGS Storm came from fourth to take out the Rockhampton Leagues Club Junior A Division 1 title.
They held on to win the grand final against a fast-finishing Brothers Green 50-47.
The RNA 2019 season featured a record 164 teams from 13 clubs competing across 21 divisions.
While premiership honours were shared across six clubs, it was Brothers who celebrated the most grand final victories with seven.
That included the Senior A division, in which Brothers Crimson won their ninth straight title.
RGS Storm coach Rachael McDonald said it was a great performance from the team, given all but two members were new to this level of competition.
“Faith Maynard and Sophie Smith played in this division last year but the majority of the other girls came up from B2.
“It was a big step up for them. They were up against a lot of talented players and they really had to adjust to the speed of the game.
“They had some tough games early in the season but they just kept improving as the year went along.
“There was not necessarily a turning point for them – they just continued to come together as a unit as the season progressed.”
RGS Storm finished fourth after the regular season and won their elimination semi against Brothers White.
They then did enough to get past Frenchville Snapping Turtles in the preliminary final to set up their grand final showdown with minor premiers Brothers Green.
McDonald said her players started the decider with plenty of intensity and worked hard on limiting their mistakes on court.
“We were out to an eight-goal lead but Brothers came home really strong and their shooters weren’t missing,” she said.
“I was pretty relieved when I saw the timekeeper get up.”
McDonald said goal shooter Esther Bourke was a standout in the attacking end, while the speed and accurate passing of centre Lily Gray and wing attack Sophie Smith was also a highlight.
RGS Storm then went on to play at the Vicki Wilson Shield, where they finished 15th overall.
RGS Magic also qualified for the Vicki Wilson Cup, coming tenth overall after missing the top eight by the narrowest of percentages.
It was the first time that Rockhampton Grammar’s two teams had qualified for the state finals.
McDonald said it was a very encouraging season for RGS Storm, who were also runners-up to St Ursula’s in the Rockhampton and District Secondary Schools competition.
“Hopefully the girls can take these achievements and what they’ve learned this season and keep building on that,” she said.
While the season proper is now complete, the on-court action continues with the RNA’s eight-week summer program, which offers mixed and social netball, starting this week.
2019 RNA PREMIERS
Rockhampton Leagues Club Senior A: Brothers Crimson
Senior A Reserve Division 1: Brothers Magenta
Senior A Reserve Division 2l Bluebirds Ravens
Senior Bl Brothers Lemon
Senior B Reserve: Coastal Stingers
Senior C: Frenchville Wallabies
Senior C Reserve: Brothers Teal
Rockhampton Leagues Club Junior A Division 1: RGS Storm
Rockhampton Leagues Club Junior A Division 2: Brothers Yellow
Junior B Division 1: Coastal Sharks
Junior B Division 2: Brothers Lilac
Junior C Division 1: Frenchville Mustangs
Junior C Division 2: RGS Suns
Junior D Division 1: Bluebirds Jays
Junior D Division 2: Frenchville Alpacas
Junior E Division 1: Gracemere Jaguars
Junior E Division 2: Brothers Lime
Junior E Division 3: Frenchville Llamas
Junior F Division 1: RGS Sliders
Junior F Division 2: RGS Heat
Junior F Division 3: Frenchville Dingoes