Adelaide Summer Classic – Saturday 22nd February
Redbacks: Rebecca, Victoria, Sarah, Meena, Gemma, Jake, Graham, Rob, Neil
The Redbacks travelled down to Adelaide for the second annual Summer Classic with gaining experience and having fun the main things on the agenda (as well as destroying the locals in their own back yard). Excited for their first matches since June and korfing debuts for Victoria and Jake, the Redbacks arrived early to hone their playing style before the games began.
Sydney 3-9 Boomers
Scorers: Rob, Victoria, Graham
Having a tough first match against the boomers the Redbacks started well with strong defence keeping it tight in the opening minutes. The boomers took the lead however Sydney levelled it up immediately as Rob took a great rebound and executed a textbook drop-off. The Boomers, last years winners and pre-tournament favourites ($1.40 on the TAB) then took a firm grip of the game scoring the next four goals before Victoria stopped the rot with a lovely finish from short range. A penalty then extended Boomers advantage but a mid-range shot from Graham kept the Redbacks in it. Unfortunately it was not to be as the Boomers rounded out the game with a further three goals to emphasise their superiority.
Despite the loss, the positives were there for Sydney with three well taken goals, some structured attacks with several more chances created and solid defence for the most part. With this in mind, the Redbacks remained relaxed and confident of a good performance in the next game.
Sydney 7-6 Arista Yellow
Scorers: Meena, Gemma (2), Sarah, Graham (2), Neil
In the second game of the day, the Redbacks started strongly with early running-in chances created by Bec, Victoria and Neil but it was Meena who converted first after a nice interchange with Neil. Arista black or yellow soon levelled it up but straight from the restart within 4 passes Gemma sunk a nice shot from the back of the court. In the next attack, Sarah doubled the lead with a similarly beautiful shot from the front of the court. Arista came back to level the scores before the Redbacks regained their two goal advantage through a quickfire double from Graham – taking advantage of a loose ball to put in a shot range shot before slotting home a runner soon after. Goals were then traded as Neil kept his cool to convert a penalty. Gemma then took, and scored, her second shot of the game to make it 7-5.
That was enough for Sydney to hang on to as the game finished 7-6, a thoroughly deserved win. High fives all round followed before a tasty sausage sizzle for lunch.
Sydney 3-4 Arista Black
Scorers: Gemma, Sarah, Graham
With lunch weighing down both teams, the Redbacks started sluggishly and the other Arista took advantage and went in to an early two goal lead. Gemma, having missed out on a sausage, got Sydney on the scoreboard by nailing a running-in shot. Creating several chances, Sydney were unlucky not to get the next goal but Arista made went further ahead, getting on the scoresheet twice more to make it 1-4. A fightback ensued from the Redbacks as Sarah reduced the deficit converting a runner through a crowd under the post. Graham then brought Sydney within 1, popping in a short range shot. With time running out The Redbacks came close to an equaliser and when Gemma found space close to the post, the buzzer sounded prematurely from Sydney’s point of view as the shot was duly converted after the final whistle.
Unlucky in defeat, the Redbacks knew they could play better and with only a narrow margin, the signs were positive if the team could bring their A-game for the final two matches.
Sydney 4-4 North Adelaide
Scorers: Graham (2), Gemma, Neil
The penultimate game of the day started poorly for the Redbacks as North Adelaide took an early lead. Sydney levelled it up though soon after as Sarah slipped through the opposition defence before being illegally halted and Graham duly converted the penalty. North Adelaide wrested back the momentum though with two goals before half time. Sydney, kept their heads up though and soon after the break Allen/Pratt household showed they were on the same wavelength as Rob fed Gemma for a runner. The Redbacks were then awarded a free-pass, and although Graham was blammed at the first attempt, he remained alert and exchanged a quick give-and-go with Victoria to finish from short range. A penalty down the other end had North Adelaide back in the lead but Neil had other ideas with an equalising runner.
With a share of the spoils and a much improved second half performance, confidence and spirits were high with the final game coming up and thoughts already drifting to post match beers…
Sydney 5-3 Glenelg
Scorers: Graham (3), Sarah, Neil
A flying start from Sydney with runners from both Graham and Sarah put Sydney into an early two goal lead. Strong defence then followed as Glenelg managed only one goal in reply before half-time as Jake also had a runner controversially disallowed for defended. After the break, Neil executed a perfect penalty to restore Sydney’s two goal advantage. The redbacks then cemented their lead as Graham took advantage of the space afforded out the front to score two consecutive long shots. At 5-1, Sydney were virtually over the line but Glenelg kept at it, scoring a penalty followed by a contentious short range shot just before the buzzer.
Finishing with a win meant SCRKC rounded out the day with two wins, a draw and two losses; a fantastic effort. Delighted with the days play, the team got stuck into the bar and even managed to make it up past midnight in Adelaide City centre! A great day and thanks must go to the organisers for once again putting on a slickly run and enjoyable tournament. Also thanks must go to all of the Redbacks squad for making the trip down and laying it all out on the court.
Signing off until the national champs in June
SCRKC official correspondent