“IF we had to lose to anyone, I’m glad it was Casino.”
So said a philosophical Jerrabomberra Public netball coach Mardi Croke following her side’s 19-16 loss to Casino West in the final of Wednesday’s Netball NSW Cup in Sydney.
The match, held at the Anne Clarke Netball Centre in Lidcomb, marked the second time in two years Jerrabomberra has reached the final of a state-wide netball tournament.
Last year it was a 26-21 defeat to New Lambton in the final of the NSW PSSA tournament that denied the side at the final hurdle.
And this time around it was a different opponent but the same result as Jerrabomberra narrowly missed out on bringing the Netball NSW Cup back to Queanbeyan.
“Casino was an all-indigenous team and they were such a lovely bunch of girls with some amazing skills,” Croke said of Jerra’s grand final conquerors. “They went through the whole competition undefeated so there was no shame in our girls coming up a bit short.
“It was a great experience for the girls. One of the other teams had brought half their school with them to cheer them on so it was a really intense environment for a lot of our girls who’ve only ever played Saturday morning netball before.”
Victory against Casino had been within reach for Jerrabomberra after the two schools were locked at 15-all with two minutes to play in Wednesday’s decider.
But it was the side from Northern Rivers that came home the stronger, scoring four of the final five goals of the match to secure the win.
Jerra’s strong showing at the Netball NSW Cup followed on from the side’s appearance in the NSW PSSA finals in Sydney on Monday.
A first-up defeat in the knock-out competition however, denied the school the chance to go one better than last year’s second-place finish.