North Central’s open netball team suffered a heart-breaking double-overtime defeat in yesterday’s semi-finals at the V/Line State Titles.
After finishing the qualifying phase in second place, North Central faced Latrobe Valley for a spot in the final at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.
The teams played a 12-all draw in the second-last round game at the two-day championships and it was another thriller in the semi.
Needing to win by two goals in overtime, the teams couldn’t be split until the second overtime period when Latrobe grabbed the advantage.
“It was just really unlucky, the girls are devastated, because they played so well,” North Central coach Janelle Hobbs said.
“We had a draw in the rounds and then a double-draw in the semis, it was anyone’s game really, just a few things didn’t go our way.”
Hobbs was proud of her team, though, after the combined side achieved its aim of making the top four.
North Central lost one round match, against top team Two Bays, and won eight of the games played over seven-minute halves.
North Central’s best win came against grand finalists Dandenong Valley 18-12.
“We only lost the one game for the weekend, so we had a great weekend,” Hobbs said.
“Our aim was to make finals, we’re definitely good enough to match it with them all, but unfortunately the way we went out was disappointing.
“They gave it their all, the girls, so I’m ready proud of them.”
Eaglehawk premiership goaler Abby Gilmore had an excellent two days for North Central, as did her Borough team-mates Brittany Eastman in the centre and Heather Oliver in defence.
Kangaroo Flat defender Alicia McGlashan stood strong in each match, along with Roos team-mate Simone Butler.
Colbinabbin’s Olivia McEvoy stepped-up in the semi-final to play her best match of the tournament in wing-attack.
Meanwhile, North Central’s 15-and-under team had an encouraging weekend, winning half of its 16 matches.
The 15s won six of 10 games on the opening day, but battled towards the end of the championships – winning just once in its last five matches to finish ninth overall.
North Central’s 17s team ended in 11th place on the ladder from 16 teams after it won six games and lost nine.
The 17s’ best win was a 15-11 triumph over Wimmera Mallee.