It feels like they have just begun; however the 2018 Nationals Club Championship titles have been decided as we now move onto the After Party and continue the celebrations there.
The A Grade saw Glenelg enter the day without a loss, and they were up first against Boomers, with one win and two defeats, however it was Boomers who came out on top in a great start to the day, winning 11-9. North faced off against Arista who claimed the points with an 8-7 win. The second round of matches saw Boomers and Arista again claim victories to take their day records to 2-0, whilst Glenelg dropped back into the pack with their second defeat of the day.
The final round of matches saw the two tightest contests of the weekend as Boomers and Arista faced off in a playoff for a Grand Final place, with Boomers holding a 2 goal lead heading into the final 6 minutes, Arista found another gear to peg them back and when the final siren sounded the scores were locked at 9 all. Glenelg, needing a win to advance to the Grand Final, played off against North, with that game going goal for goal in the second half until a late penalty goal saw North claim the points by the one solitary goal 12-11, meaning that the A Grade Grand Final was going to be played between Arista and Boomers.
The Grand Final saw Arista and Boomers face off, and with both their games this tournament nail biters we were hoping for more of the same. Arista, however, didn’t feel that way and came out hot, scoring 7 goals before Boomers got on the board. As the game neared half time, Boomers were able to peg a couple back to reduce the margin. The second half saw Boomers start strong but unable to find that first goal, with Arista taking that and control of the game. Both sides would then go goal for goal as Arista would go on to win the 2018 A Grade Nationals Club Championships, making up for their defeat in the 2017 version against Boomers in Golden Goal.
Congratulations to Arista on a fantastic tournament and commiserations to Boomers who finish as runners up in 2018.
The B Grade saw a similar scene as the Saturday as the two pace setters Flinders and Newcastle stayed as the two best teams throughout the day.
Flinders continued to do what they know which is winning, having won all their matches on day one they went through their final round robin matches undefeated to finish on top of the table and secure their place in the 2018 Nationals B Grade Grand Final.
We saw Newcastle, after only the two games on day one, play four games and win all four to finish second on the table to book their place in the final, a great achievement for the New South Wales side.
Sydney remained in third place to continue the great efforts of their NSW counterparts, finishing the tournament with four wins and two defeats. North jumped from the bottom of the table on day one to finish in fourth with two wins and four defeats, ahead on goal difference of Boomers who finished in fifth. Sixth place saw Glenelg finish with one win, one draw and four defeats, whilst in seventh place we saw Arista who finished with one draw and five defeats.
The Grand Final saw the two most dominant teams in B Grade for this weekend face off, with Flinders taking on Newcastle. Newcastle took the early lead with a couple of quick goals, before Flinders bounced straight back with a couple of their own to level it up, as the game neared half time the scores were so very close. The second half began with some great defence from both sides as scoring dried up, until Newcastle were able to score a couple of goals in a row to open a break, which they were able to hold onto, recording a 10-7 victory over Flinders to be crowned 2018 B Grade Nationals Club Champions, the first visiting side to Adelaide to record that feat in quite some time.
Congratulations to Newcastle on a superb tournament and on their victory in the decider, whilst commiserations go out to Flinders who finish as runners up for the second successive year after their defeat in the 2017 decider.
As always, all the results from the entire weekend can be found at the National Championships hub.