This weekend just gone saw us crown the champions of the 2020 Korfball South Australia State League season. With three games to finish our season, the biggest crowd of the season saw some high quality korfball, in a fantastic showcase of our league. Read on for the details of all the action!

Division 2 – 3rd Placed Playoff

The opening match for the day saw Flinders and Boomers Purple play off for third place in Division 2. Flinders started the game strongly, with three quick unanswered goals. Following a while with no scoring, Boomers opened their account through a long shot, and from there we saw a  quick flurry of scoring from both sides. This pattern would repeat for much of the match, with periods of unlucky shooting and good defence followed by a rush of goals. Flinders set about increasing their lead, but didn’t have it all their own way. Despite stretching the margin to 5, Boomers were able to fight back to narrow the margin to 2, before another period of slow scoring set in. Ultimately, Flinders were able to unleash a flurry of scoring in the second half to wrap up the match, 15-8.

Ben Walter picked up 3 goals for Boomers with some nice long shooting, while Oliver Sainsbury picked up 5 for Flinders to lead the match. Congratulations to both teams on fantastic seasons, and we look forward to see what next year holds for you both.

Division 2 – Grand Final

The first of our finals for the day saw Arista Yellow taking on North, in something of a preview of the game to come. The match started pretty evenly, with both sides struggling to make the most of their opportunities at times, despite creating plenty of good shots. However, before half time, Arista started to build a bit of a lead, with their experience both in Korfball and with each other starting to pay dividends. Crisp passing unlocked the North defence a few times, leading to nicely crafted goals. Strong rebounding certainly helped as well, with many of Arista’s goals coming from second chance attacks, while North didn’t pick up enough offensive rebounds to have the same opportunities. North’s athleticism kept them in touching distance through the midpoint of the match, but towards the end, when some of the Arista player found their range, the margin grew,  until Arista ran out 18-9 winners.

James Cullen, Allie Kulcsar and Kyla Norfolk all picked up 2 goals each for North in an even team performance, while Craig Miller led for Arista and the match with 6 of his own. Congratulations to Arista Yellow on an undefeated season, and commiserations to North, who put up a good fight all season, ultimately falling just short.

Division 1 – Grand Final

Finally the time arrived for the final match of the day, and of the season, with the Division 1 Grand Final! The match saw North take on Arista in the match of the day, and befitting it’s status, arguably the match of the year. Despite North coming into the game as favourites, having not dropped a game all season, it was Arista who had the early running, with North’s famed long shooting not finding the bottom of the korf early on. However, North were able to fight back, and the teams went into quarter time locked at 5 goals apiece.

The second quarter was much the same as the first, with both teams settling into a groove offensively. Despite solid defence, the scoring rate kicked up a notch, but neither team was able to get any separation. The largest margin all quarter was just two goals for Arista, and at the long break, the scores were again all locked up at 12 all.

After a goal-a-minute first half, both teams struggled to get the scoreboard ticking over in the third quarter. The defence noticeably picked up in the third quarter, as neither team wanted to be the first to blink. This led to a spate of long shots, as neither team were able to generate stronger scoring opportunities, as well as plenty of passes picked off. Ultimately, it was Arista who got the upper hand, and went into three-quarter time up 15-13, having held North to a single goal all quarter.

North started the final quarter chasing the game, not a position they’ve found themselves in often over the last 4 years. However, they proved they were up to the challenge as their radar clicked on, and they started scoring goals from range. Before long, North had closed the gap, and it was game on again. Ultimately, North’s long shooting proved the difference as they opened up a lead of their own, with both teams stifling defence causing problems around the basket. As the final minutes ticked down, Arista were unable to close the gap, with North winning a last-gasp thriller 20-17.

Nik Bungey led the scoring for Arista, with 5 goals, while Jessica Crispe matched that tally for North. Congratulations to North on winning your fourth consecutive top-tier State League title, once again undefeated. Bad luck to Arista, who for three quarters came as close as any team has all season to beating North, it just wasn’t to be on the day.

Congratulations to all teams who qualified to play on the last day of the season, and a special congratulations to those who took home trophies. Thanks must go to all the supporters who came out, seeing crowds like that on the last day of the season, when we weren’t even sure if we were going to have a season, is fantastic for the sport. We look forward to seeing everyone next season, and stay tuned for all the information on offseason activities and competitions.