Triple triumph: TCC open netballers make it three in a row
NETBALL: Coach Renee Williams says an "absolutely stellar” defensive effort helped The Cathedral College secure its third consecutive Rockhampton and district secondary schoolgirls title.
TCC continued its dominance of the Open A division, scoring a 21-goal win against a gallant Emmaus College at Jardine Park on Friday night.
It has lost just one schoolgirls game in the past three years on its way to the titles trifecta.
TCC supporters had plenty to cheer about on Friday, with their teams winning six of a possible nine grand finals.
The loudest cheers were reserved for the open team, led to victory by their inspirational captain Zeckeisha Oakley who was spurred on by a large family contingent, many of whom had travelled in from Woorabinda for the game.
Her tireless work in the mid-court saw her awarded TCC's Most Valuable Player, a wonderful memento for the Year 12 student in her last game in the local secondary schoolgirls competition.
"I didn't really expect it because I just wanted to go out and play for my school and play for my family,” she said after the presentations.
"It was very exciting to get the win and it's a nice way to finish.
"Having everyone out here was amazing and the feeling is just unreal.”
TCC showed its intent from the start, and led 10-nil at the first quarter.
Emmaus fought its way back into the contest but struggled to find a way through the defence of TCC's talented trio of Liezel Viljoen, Isabelle Shearer and Mackenzie Reid.
It was 18-5 at half-time and strong defensive efforts from both sides saw the low-scoring game finish at 31-10.
TCC coach Renee Williams applauded the efforts of her back three.
"The defence tonight was absolutely stellar. I was absolutely impressed with the defensive work of the girls,” she said.
"We kept Emmaus scoreless in the first quarter and scoreless again in the third until the eighth minute.
"They were just tenacious, never giving up, and that absolutely helped us get the win.”
Williams could not speak highly enough about her captain.
"Zeckeisha just continues to amaze the whole team. The work that she does is just freakish and uncoachable,” she said.
"She's such a natural talent and I certainly will miss her, as will the team, next year.”
Williams said it was great that TCC could send fellow Year 12 students Kiara Hansen and Mackenzie Reid out with a win.
"They'll have these memories for the rest of their lives so it's great.
"I think the key to the win was all the hard work the girls have put into training and the communication on court was excellent.”
Williams said it was impossible to compare the past three title victories.
"Any grand final win is amazing. I guess they're like your children, you love them all.”
Competition is far from over for the victorious TCC team.
It heads to the QISSN carnival in Townsville in three weeks time, eager to replicate its historic win of 2016, and also has its sights set on taking the Capricornia position for the prestigious Vicki Wilson Cup in October.
Open A: TCC d Emmaus 31-10 (MVPs Zeckeisha Oakley, Lydia Durkin)
Open B1: TCC d RGS Meteors 26-22 (Alexis Williams, Lucy Kinsella)
Open B2: YHS d RGS Lakers 20-11 (Annais Allen, Toni Lamb)
Open C1: RGS Bullets d Emmaus 21-17 (Sarah Cragg, Alex Thomas)
Open C2: RGS Blazers d NRHS Maroon 27-23 (Mikaela Glover, Makayla Hunt)
10A: St Ursula's d Emmaus 25-24 (Meghan Fallis, Anika Phelan)
10B: Emmaus d YHS 25-13 (Abby Geiger, Georgia Harris)
10C: NRHS d Heights 19-4 (Alicia Kyriazis, Abby Horstman)
9A: RGS Storm d Emmaus 30-29 (Sophie Smith, Ihndora McLeod)
9B: TCC Green d Heights 23-21 (Qwirhys Malone, Alix Sorrensen)
9C: RHS d RGGS 28-19 (Caitlen Weder, Jarrah Thomas)
8A: St Ursula's d TCC 22-16 (Sophia Couper, Emily Jones)
8B: TCC d Emmaus Red 26-12 (Grace Arthur, Madison McLurcan)
8C: TCC Blue d TCC Green 16-10 (Emma Harkin, Emily McBean)
7A: TCC d St Ursula's 33-9 (Grace Gabriel, Angela Pidgeon)
7B: Heights d TCC 27-24 (Mikayla Humphries, Martine David)
7C: RHS d TCC Green 34-24 (Siara Prince, Ellie Reid)