Camperdown finish runners-up yet again in Hampden decider, but young stars shine

CONTROL: Camperdown's Brooke Richardson goes the short pass during Saturday's Hampden open grade grand final against Koroit. Picture: Morgan Hancock
CONTROL: Camperdown's Brooke Richardson goes the short pass during Saturday's Hampden open grade grand final against Koroit. Picture: Morgan Hancock

CAMPERDOWN coach Peter Finch summed it up best: “We gave it our best shot – we couldn’t have done much more”.

For the third year running – and eighth time overall – the Magpies were consigned to runners-up status in Hampden’s top-grade netball.

At Reid Oval on Saturday, Camperdown took the challenge up to Koroit and, in the end, lost to the benchmark team of season 2017 by just three goals.

The clash was close throughout, the Magpies always keeping the Saints in sight, but not able to take the lead, although they did level the ledger in the first and third terms.

“It’s disappointing for the girls,” Finch said. “They’ve played a lot of good netball through the year and a lot of games they’ve come from behind, but that’s the way it goes. They (Koroit) are a good side, they use the ball well to one another.”

While the Saints held the lead for much of the contest, bar a few instances were scores were level, the Magpies were never out of the fight.

Its young contingent of teenagers were not cowed by the more experienced Saints, but stood their ground.

Caitlin Hall started in centre, while Chelsea Baker had a stint at centre and wing attack – the latter when Leah Sinnott was forced off with the blood rule – while Olivia Henzen played well in her wing defence stints.

“We’ve got a couple of 15-year-old girls out there playing quarters – it’s all good for the future of the club,” Finch said.

“They played off in the 17s grand final too. It was a good effort by them, it was just a pity we couldn’t play them for more time through the senior game, because I reckon they gave us tremendous legs when they came on.”