Mighty Mercy and St Patrick’s netballers rank with the best
By CHRIS KARAS
MEET the Mercy College and St Patrick’s College netballers that reached new milestones at this year’s CQ University Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball Carnival in Mackay.
Both schools covered themselves in glory with superb performances on court throughout the five day tournament – bringing home silverware and posting equal best finishes in the championship standings.
Dianna Bailey’s exciting young Mercy juniors are celebrating a Division 6 championship triumph after edging out rivals Marist College Emerald 16-15 in a thrilling Grand Final contest.
After a slow start to the Carnival, the Mercy girls clicked into top gear and saved their best form until the pressure-cooker elimination finals series.
Mercy registered wins over Good Shepherd College Mt Isa (16-14) and Whitsunday Anglican College (24-6) and narrow losses to Marist College Emerald (20-12), St Mary’s College Cairns (14-10), St Thomas More College Sunnybank (18-12), St Augustine’s College Augustine Heights (16-11) and Ryan Catholic College Townsville (19-10) after the seven Pool rounds to sneak into the finals.
But the gifted Mercy whiz kids found their groove and defeated Assumption College Warwick (20-11) and St Lukes Anglican School (18-14) in a quarter final and semi final respectively before avenging their early round loss to Emerald with a lion hearted display in the trophy decider.
Rising centre court star Mischa Dinsdale was named the competition’s Most Valuable Player after classy performances during the series and caught the eye of Australian Diamonds great Vicki Wilson, who labelled the Mercy schoolgirl “an exceptional talent.”
Other Mercy players to impress were key defenders Kacee Ziegeler and Shaylah Pershouse, centre Sienna Uriarte, goal attack Camryn Zeller and promising shooter Kiana Dunn, who made the most of her opportunities after coming into the squad as a shadow player.
Dunn, Pershouse and Gracie Bell will now represent Mercy College at the Vicki Wilson State Schoolgirl Netball Championships in Brisbane later this year.
ST PATRICK’S all conquering Girls netball team ranks with the best in the State after phenomenal efforts in the QISSN Cup Division 1 championship.
With astute coaches Nadine Becker and Tracey McLeod at the helm, the Mackay maidens captured the imagination of the Queensland sporting public to finish in fifth place in the top category and equal their best standing at a QISSN event.
Led by the skilful Rebecca Symons – who was later named the competition’s Most Valuable Player – the St Patrick’s girls held their own in a tough Pool to record victories over St Margaret Mary Townsville, Rockhampton Grammar, Unity College and Marymount College to reach the quarter finals.
The team’s only losses were against the State’s top three netball schools – eventual champions Canterbury, second placed Somerset College Gold Coast and third ranked Matthew Flinders.
Somerset eclipsed St Patrick’s in a quarter final before the Mackay girls toppled St Columban’s College Caboolture in the play off for fifth/sixth spot.
Talented centre Ysobel Maher and tough defender Phoebe Francis also produced stand out performances to cap an outstanding month for the St Patrick’s team – hot on the heels of their third consecutive championship title in the Mackay District Secondary Schools Netball competition.
In the first-ever QISSN Boys Netball event, St Patrick’s finished a creditable third with outstanding centre prospect Ben Pease named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Pease along with talented shooter Will Randell were later named in the Carnival’s All Stars Merit team with shooter Baxter Northworthy also earning a spot in the Rising Stars Merit squad.