Friday, August 12, 2022

If you weren't at Israel Netball's 6th season finals last night, you missed out on some wonderfully exciting netball! Both games were so close that when each goal was scored everyone turned their eyes to the scoreboard/clock to see which team had the upper hand at that moment and how much time was left for the lead to potentially be overturned.

The first match saw Jerusalem Mercaz and Jtown vying for the bronze medal. At the end of the first quarter, Jerusalem was leading by 11-8, but Jtown came back strongly in the second quarter to overtake them by two goals (20-18). Although they succeeded in holding their lead by one goal in the third quarter (28-27) the Jerusalem ladies would not give up and went on to win the match by 37-35.

Playing for their second gold medal, Tel Aviv led the standings after all ten matches of the season had been played. They faced the Katamon youngsters – most of whom had played in the World Youth Championships in 2013 in Glasgow where they delighted the crowds with their passion and enthusiasm. Many of these players are currently doing National Service and therefore do not have the opportunity to practice together and so were understandably a little apprehensive! Some of them simply come along to other teams' practice sessions whenever they can. However they were encouraged by the presence of their coach Chani Komar who had only a few days before given birth to Noga (who we hope will one day become a superb netballer like her mother, grandmother and aunts)!

With only seven players on their team, Tel Aviv trailed in the first quarter scoring eight goals to Katamon's 13. The more experienced Tel Avivians did better in the next quarter but still could not overtake their rivals and the half-time score was 17-20 but in the third quarter, Tel Aviv's determination shone through and they took the lead by 28-27. The fourth quarter was a real cliff-hanger with the goal-scoring alternating between the teams and the possibility of a draw at full-time becoming more and more real. Who was going to win gold?

At the final whistle, the Katamon girls and their numerous supporters were jumping up and down and hugging each other: the scoreboard showed 38-36 in their favour!

At the prize-giving ceremony, awards were presented to:

MVP – Shan Berman (Jtown)

Most improved player – Yisca Silberg (Katamon)

Sportsmanship – Robyn Ginsberg (Ra'anana)

Tokens of appreciation were also presented to our medical personnel Dr. Raimi Tuchinsky and Noa Spieler who have generously volunteered their time to be present at our league matches, to our umpires Nat, Shan, Lexi, Carol, Chani and Judy, and to our young scorekeepers (and upcoming netballers) Batya, Ella and Yekira.