Berwick had an outstanding year on the court, with a 17-2 record heading into finals, but ultimately falling agonisingly short.
Berwick’s two losses were against Seville, falling short by just two goals in Round 6 and six goals in Round 20. Wedged in between this was a five-goal win for Berwick in their Round 13 clash. Berwick continued the tit for tat trend, winning the Semi Final by 11.
The Grand Final, from a neutral perspective did not disappoint, for Berwick it stung as they went down by just 1 goal, in the dying seconds.
To Berwick’s credit they fought back on multiple occasions, but most notably when Seville went on a 7-0 run early in the third quarter, it wasn’t a ‘game over’ lead (Seville by 6) by any stretch, it was however, some serious momentum that needed to be arrested. Berwick did just that, scoring four of the next five and then more or less broke even for the rest of third quarter.
Coach Chloe Phillips backed the team in when they found themselves six goals down, “The main message to the girls from myself and Lisa (assistant coach), was to take a deep breath and play our style of netball.”
Berwick had a slow to start to the third quarter, conceding a few early goals and finding themselves down by five. Again, Berwick hit back and found themselves in front by 1 goal towards the end of the quarter.
Unfortunately, Seville found a couple late and the final score showed 43-44.
Berwick’s resilience throughout the Grand Final was incredible and showed that they knew they were never really out of the game.
Emily Pupuke was dangerous early, Emma Clarke shot well, whilst Olivia Macente had a great game, especially in the third quarter. Hayley Stewart and Danielle Hanley also had solid games.
Going all the way obviously would have been ideal but the season was still a very impressive one as expressed by Coach Chloe Phillips.
“It would have been nice to break that sequence and win the Grand Final, but regardless of that the girls had an incredible year.”
“We had a few new players this season and they all combined beautifully and that showed because every single week we had a player in Team of the Week.”
Berwick were an extremely prolific scoring team this year, scoring 1018 goals from 19 games at 53.6 per game, whilst only conceding 26 goals per game. Which is about seven less goals conceded per game than Seville.
They scored 60+ five times and between 50 and 59 a further five times, with their highest score being 99 in Round 4, where Emma Clarke and Emily Pupuke (Team of the Year) scored 58 and 41 respectively.
Impressively Clarke and Pupuke were the top goal scorers for the league Div 1 A Grade, with 478 and 452 respectively, proving a deadly combo.
Some of the other standout players this season were Olivia Macente who had a brilliant season in the Centre and was named as the Centre in Team of the Year. Lainey Bidwell was rewarded for her strong season as the Wing Defence in Team of the Year.
Danielle Hanley was steadfast in defence as Goalkeeper, whilst Kyla Quinn also had a solid season.
Having the top two goal scorers and three players in Team of Year is an outstanding achievement despite not achieving the ultimate success this season.
“Berwick Netball club should be incredibly proud of the season that both our A grade and the club as an entirety had in 2022,” added Phillips.
Moving up to Premier Division should provide a good challenge for Berwick, but they certainly won’t be out of their depth.
There aren’t any obvious weaknesses in the A Grade squad, with Phillips saying the area of improvement will be playing four quarters week in, week out.
Berwick’s B Grade team went down to Seville in the Grand Final (39-58) after also finishing 2nd at 17-2.
Berwick’s C Grade team had a solid year, making the Preliminary Final, falling short to Gembrook Cockatoo (22-29).
Berwick’s D Grade team won the Grand Final against Seville 24-15.
It was a close game early with Berwick holding a one goal lead into Quarter Time. The second quarter saw Berwick extend that lead to three, after being a touch smarter with decision making and cleaner with the ball in hand.
Berwick ran away with it in the third quarter, finding themselves up by eight at Three Quarter Time. They went on to win by nine (24-15).
Emily Walden shot 12 goals with Katie MacDonnell next for Berwick with 7. Jessica McConchie and Dehansa Herath were also excellent.
Throughout the season Jaimee Adema was the standout, with Casey Phillips, Shannon Westwell and Dehansa Herath having strong seasons.
It was a very strong year for Berwick, with 1 Premiership, 2 Runners Ups and 1 Prelim Final.
Written by Jordan Peeler