July 27th was the Under 11 netall carnival. Yes I know, it’s now the end of September. The carnival was 2 months ago. Shut-up. I get around to things eventually.
We had to be there at 8.45am which required us to leave home by 8am. It was a bit chilly. Like 2°C chilly. There was still ice about the place. This is what we drove through on the way:
At least when it’s a foggy start to the day, then it usually comes in sunny. When we arrived the sun was just starting to peek through, but it had been raining and the courts were wet. The mercury had risen to 5°C and it was soon time to get underway. Mums clutching warm cups of coffee and wrapped in several layers of blankets, scarfs and beanies informed their daughters that it wasn’t really that cold and that “you’ll soon warm up when you start running around.” Each team played 7 games of 18 minutes each, with the top 2 teams playing a final at the end of the day.
The first game of the day was against Red/Blue/Gold (Lightenings team). They are a pretty aggressive team, and our girls were pretty nervous. The skies threatend, but the rain held off. Our girls came out firing and we defeated them 6-2
Our next game was against Black/White. Our girls were pretty confident coming in to play them as they often struggle to put a team together in the home and away competition. Unfortunately, they had pilfered girls from other teams for the day and had the coach that usually coaches Red/Blue/Gold was coaching them. The weather was warming up and it had now reached 8°C. The wind was picking up, making shooting a bit tricky. Eventually, the game was declared a draw at 5 all.
After a break for a few hot snacks, the girls were back on the court playing Green/Gold. The last game was a bit too close for comfort and the girls realised that they have to play hard if they want to win. We had never encountered these girls before (they don’t play in our league), so they were an unknown quantity. The skies threatened again, but even though the temperature dropped again, the rain still held off. The hot soup and snacks they consumed during the break must have done the trick, because the girls won this game 8-5.
We were then up against Black/Red. The girls on this team were pretty young compared to our girls. The wind was becoming gustier and the temperature was still below 10°C – but it was the warmest it got all day. The girls were worried about playing them, but they need not have, defeating them 7-3.
The match against Green/White got rained on. I was also sitting rugged up under an umbrella scoring, so there aren’t any photos of this game. Our girls obviously don’t play well in the rain. This was their only defeat of the day, losing to Green/White 6-7
A 5 minute break and the girls were back on the court playing Red/Balck/White. This was another unknown team, so the girls came out fighting hard. Through the occasional shower and gusty winds, the girls took the lead and defeated them 8-4.
The final round of the day was against Blue/White. We knew from the scoreboard that the girls only had to draw to make the final, but we only told them that they were in with a chance for the final. The temperature was dropping and it continued to shower on and off. The excitement of knowing that the final was within reach was evident and they won easily 11-2.
We played the final against Red/Blue/Gold. We had 5 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw. They had 6 wins and 1 loss. The only team they had lost to was us. The girls were very evenly matched. I also drew the scorers sheet for this game and sat wrapped in a bundle of coats, rugs, scarfs and hats, huddled under an umbrella while the rain soaked the court. In an 18 minute game, 18 goals were scored and numerous attempts made. It was a fast paced game which went goal for goal right up to the end. In the dying minutes we able to just reach ahead and we won the day 10-8.
Best player or the carnival also came from the Black and Golds. We huddled into the car tired, cold and wet for the long drive home. But the excitement of the win took a few days to wear off. We’ll be back next year!