Team of non-trainers take out finals

CELEBRATE: Greenpark A celebrate their first Selwyn premier netball win since 2011 after a 45-44 win over Broadfield A at the Lincoln Event Centre, on Saturday, Photo: Karen Casey.

Greenpark A, a team which has not trained together in four years, upset Broadfield A 45-44 to claim the Selwyn premier netball title at the Lincoln Event Centre on Saturday.

Coach Karen Ponsonby told the Selwyn Times last week Broadfield should win the final because her team did not train at all.

Ultimately, it did not matter as her team won their first title since 2011.

“We’re a team which is over-committed already with families to look after and kids’ sport to prioritise,” Ponsonby said.

“Our average age would be in the early 30s.”

Ponsonby said others played in the mid-week Metro competition.

Rachael Cridge, Kate Alfeld, and 43-year-old Zaylie Sullivan were part of the team which won the title eight years ago, while Ponsonby also coached the side.

Broadfield A were top qualifiers for the final and beat defending champions Lincoln to make the decider.

However, Broadfield trailed by as many as eight goals in the second half before tying the game at 44-44 with less than a minute to go.

Greenpark A shooter Casey Ashton coolly slotted her 40th goal of the game to secure the title.

Ponsonby said the experienced, older core of her team dealt with the pressure better.

“I think (Broadfield) panicked a little after they missed a few shots and a lot of my girls had been there before and just got on with it,” she said.

“To be honest, I think (Broadfield) probably deserved to win the competition given the season they had.

“You feel a bit guilty winning a premier grade title when you don’t train.”

Ponsonby said because her team didn’t train, it seemed to help them play with freedom on court.

She said she was delighted with how her team was able to disrupt the Broadfield attacking circle.

“All the girls were just so thrilled to have won,” Ponsonby said.

Broadfield A coach Yvonne Crichton-Hill described her team’s effort as “dreadful.”

“We didn’t play our game at all,” she said.

“We didn’t get our usual speed through court and got drawn into playing Greenpark’s style of game.

“I think the occasion got too big for some players.

“The team is clearly gutted with the loss and to lose by
one. It might as well have been 10.”

Crichton-Hill was pleased with how her team never gave up and fought back to draw level in the final minute but admitted Greenpark deserved their win.

GRASP: Greenpark A goal shoot Casey Ashton wins the ball over Georgie Bolton, left and Eboni Hill, right. Photo: Karen Casey.

REACTIONS: Greenpark A’s Zaylie Sullivan scrambles to keep the ball in play. Photo: Karen Casey.

Vision: Broadfield A’s Tiare Davis looks to pass the ball through court. Photo: Karen Casey.

POISE: Greenpark’s Laura Williams, right, sweeps the ball away from Broadfield A’s Georgie Bolton. Photo: Karen Casey.

CONCENTRATION: Broadfield A’s Laura Lowe goes for goal. Photo: Karen Casey.

PRESSURE: Greenpark A’s Laura Williams looks for support. Photo: Karen Casey.