Souths have won the inaugural Greater Bank Club Championship in what has been a topsy-turvy season for Newcastle Netball, finishing second in the top grade and Opens and winning by a single point in the 23s to clinch the club-wide trophy.
Pride, the Souths squad in under 23s, finished first with a 7–1 record in 2020. The young champs’ only defeat came at the hands of the NNA representative squad playing in the development league; a narrow 30–25 loss that came in Round 7.
The ladies in red finished second in both the Championship and Opens grades as well, picking up 22 and 21 points respectively. In the Opens, the Roar fell one point short of a strong West Leagues Balance 2 side, winning six of eight and drawing once.
It was a similar story in the top grade, as the Lions finished just two points behind a nigh-stoppable University outfit. Apart from Souths’ 52–46 loss to the championship winners in Round 5, the Lions enjoyed an undefeated campaign in 2020.
The club finished on 65 points, nine ahead of Uni (56) and ten ahead of Nova (55).
West Leagues rounded out the club championship top four with a 54 point haul. Wests were bolstered by their win in Opens, and a fourth-place finish in the Championship.
Tracey van Dal said it was a “huge moment” for Souths to win the club title.
“Souths are obviously a club that prides its on its pathways, so for us to be able to go out there and show that we have quality across every grade with this title is really special for us, and a great way to show what we’ve achieved,” she told the Chronicle.
“It’s a great reward for the girls too, across all three teams. They put in 110% and so it’s really great to have this achievement for them. I’m really proud of everyone.”
“It’s a huge reward for the club,” van Dal repeated. “We would have loved to play more netty this season, but if you’d said to me at the start of the year this is where we’d end up, in all the grades, then I would have been really happy with that for sure.”
“This is a really special moment for us, Souths, as a club. We’re so happy.”
Newcastle Netball has also confirmed the Club Championship will be sticking around into 2021 and beyond, and is expected to unveil that decision with club representatives at the next players meeting early next month.
Van Dal said it was an “excellent choice” to have the format stick around long-term.
“Having something the whole club can work towards, all three teams in the Greater Bank Series, I think that’s a fantastic idea. We all loved it here at Souths,” she said.
Final standings for 2020 Club Championship
- Souths: 65 (22, 21, 22)
- University: 56 (24, 16, 16)
- Nova: 55 (20, 14, 21)
- West Leagues: 54 (18, 22, 14)
- Inner Glow: 39 (14, 15, 10)
- BNC: 40 (12, 18, 10)
- Junction: 20 (8, 0, 12)
- Kotara South: 19 (10, 9, 0)