South Otago netball wrapped up for the season last Friday, the finals featuring feisty play and elite skill from all over the district.
Supporters were lined along the ends of courts and banners were up in support of their favourite team on the night.
In the premier 1 final, two teams full of top-notch netballers were hungry for the top spot but Black Gold Sting walloped Clutha Mitsi 44-21.
Both teams began preparation on the courts, warming up, talking tactics, eyeing up their opponents and shooting nets until it came time for the final showdown.
The first quarter was close — 10-7 to Black Gold.
To a netballer, close is basically neck and neck, but three points ahead in the first quarter can mean nothing if the other team steps up in the next one.
Black Gold was ahead 19-10 at halftime, skills from both teams simmering at top quality.
Clutha Mitsi fought extremely hard, but by fulltime it was clear Black Gold Sting was destined to get that top spot.
Both teams played with professionalism and flair, and there were even smiles from both teams at the end of the match. Black Gold Sting wins the Petrie Shield and the top grade for 2023.
Premier 2 was an amazing watch.
Notlim Nets went up against Clutha MFR8 and the two teams set out on a mission to win. Both teams had fought their way to get to the final two, so they were fizzing when they walked on the court at the ripe time of 7.15pm.
The first two quarters were epic, each team giving the game their all and some.
Back-and-forth action was greeted with a roar of clapping every time someone put the ball in the net.
It was 12-12 at halftime which was nail-biting for supporters and players.
Fresh faces were on the court in the third quarter for Notlim who were eager and ready to go.
The quick tap passing, immaculate shooting from both sides and driving to the ball allowed Notlim to speed ahead 22-15, and by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, there was no stopping them as they secured a 32-23 win, crowning them the premier 2 champion and winner of the Challenge Shield for 2023.
In senior 1, SOHS Blue took on SOHS B in a match of the high schoolers, SOHS Blue coming out on top with a 22-15 win over SOHS B to gain the Teachers Hostel Cup.
Senior 2 put Balclutha Motors up against SOHS Beta, Balclutha Motors claiming the grade with a 23-12 win to secure the Lorna Cross Memorial Cup.
Lawrence Secondary Blue and Toko Koura met in the senior 3 final.
Toko Koura won 25-17 to win the Lynette Willocks Cup.
Most valuable player in the over-30 age-group and winner of the Liz Freeman Trophy was Hannah Phillips, and MVP of the 19-29 age group and the Pauline Dodds Trophy was Kobie Hill.