LEONGATHA and District Netball Association held its annual junior netball tournament on Sunday in perfect playing conditions. There were 45 teams from regional Gippsland and the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne competing across six junior sections from 11 and Under to 17 and Under age groups. Eastern Zone Netball Academy 17 and Under teams use the tournament for training and game practice and do not compete in finals – making the Under 17s section seven teams.
Casey City team placed on the ladder of the Under 17s competition and went on to win over Moe Football Netball Club in the grand final nine to six. In the 15 and Under section there were six competing teams. ‘New Era,’ a regional team covering Koo Wee Rup to Berwick area, didn’t drop a game during the rounds. They went on to be outright winners, defeating Waverley City in the grand final 14 to 8. The 15 and Under reserve section was a very close competition with draws and counter wins during the rounds. Moe Football Netball Club finished on top of the ladder at the end of the draw but had to settle for runner-ups in an impressive final from Cranbourne SW. Cranbourne SW 19 to Moe 5. Local Gippsland regional team Southern Fusion and Meeniyan Dumbalk Football Netball Club both had a taste of the finals in the 13 and Under open section. Both reached the semi-finals after finishing in third and fourth respectively after the rounds. But it was the equal top of the ladder Waverly City and Traralgon who played off in the grand final with Waverley City not faltering, winning 11 to 5.
The Leongatha Parrots made it to the semi-finals in the 13 and Under reserve section but went down to Cranbourne SW. They were eventually defeated in the grand final by Nepean Association in extra time 14 to 13. Nine teams were in the 11 and Under section, each playing eight games each for the day. No finals were played as the day is for training, experience and skill development. All players were presented with a certificate and a participating show bag of netball giveaways. Local traders have been very generous with supporting Leongatha Netball Association with raffle prizes. A NAB, Leongatha Heath Food and Network Video goodie pack went to Leonie McGannon; Val Young won the Rural Finance Travel Pack. The pack from Flower Power, Nagel Pharmacy, Henrietta’s and LuLu’s was won by Nicole Forrester and the Energetic Apparel Pack was won by Bernadette Henderson of Traralgon.