Albany and Denmark well represented at annual Association Championships in Perth

David Pearce & Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Albany’s open side.
Camera IconAlbany’s open side. Credit: Albany Representative Netball

The Great Southern was strongly represented at the 2021 Fuel To Go & Play Association Championships in Perth over the long weekend.

Albany Netball Association took away seven teams to the championships while Denmark Netball Association were represented by two.

Perth put on four seasons in one weekend with bright sunshine on Saturday and wet weather on Sunday.

Although foreign to Albany players, they quickly adjusted to the conditions to hold their own against the strongest associations Perth has to offer.

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Albany made one grand final but unfortunately went down.

The 17-and-under team competing in division two, fielding a majority of ANA A1 players, secured a grand final berth with a 17-16 win in their last game against Wanneroo.

Albany 17 and under team 1.
Camera IconAlbany 17 and under team 1. Credit: Albany Representative Netball

After winning four out of six games to finish second on the ladder, the 17s team came up against the undefeated Success Netball Association in the grand final.

Success jumped out to an early lead, but Albany managed to settle through the defensive pressure of Isabella De Giambattista and Rhiannon Williams-Jolley to go into half-time 10-14 down.

In what was an extremely high-quality game of netball, Albany struggled to bridge the gap to end up going down 21-28.

The 14-and-under Albany side jumped to the top of the ladder after the first day with two strong wins against Noranda (27-14) and then Wanneroo (33-13) in division two.

However, on the second day the side struggled in wet conditions and despite strong work from Hayley Mickle and Rachel Bradley they couldn’t get a win until the last game of the day, 28-15 against Bunbury.

Albany’s 17-and-under team 2.
Camera IconAlbany’s 17-and-under team 2. Credit: Albany Representative Netball

Their final game on Monday showed the potential of this team coming out on top 20-16 against the eventual winners Busselton. Albany ended the championships fourth on the ladder.

The 12-and-under side showed some impressive signs after not playing together previously but gelled well to score an early win against Wanneroo, 11-7, in division two.

Coming off the first up win they then faced the force of the Perth Netball Association and pushed them the whole way before finally going down 14-11 in a close finish.

After a couple of hard games, the 12s ended the weekend with two wins from six games to be fifth overall, the defensive structure of Natalie Simpson and Jessica Buck proved a strong combination.

Albany’s 12-and-under team.
Camera IconAlbany’s 12-and-under team. Credit: Albany Representative Netball

The 17-and-under second team in division four were very competitive against all but two teams, winning three games against Eaton (24-17), Karratha (16-13) and Busselton (22-17).

However they went down by one goal to Merredin (18-17) and two goals to Joondalup (21-19) in close contests to finish fifth.

The open team won two games from six in division three to finish fifth and were well led by goal defender Claire Holiday.

Albany's 13 and under team.
Camera IconAlbany's 13 and under team. Credit: Albany Representative Netball

The 13-and-under side’s weekend was up and down winning two games easily but also losing their other four games to finish sixth in division two.

The 15-and-under side finished on the bottom of the ladder in division three, not registering a win.

After a hard fought 22-15 loss against Swan Districts in game one Albany came up against Denmark in the local derby.

Denmark’s 15-and-under team.
Camera IconDenmark’s 15-and-under team. Credit: Denmark Netball Association

The score never grew more than two goals either way right up to the final whistle with Denmark coming out on top 16-15, thanks to an impressive performance from Amy Dominiak while for Albany’s Maddy Byrne played well.

Denmark’s 13-and-under team won three games in division three and ended up fifth overall while two wins from the Denmark 15-and-under side left them in sixth place overall in division three.

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