It’s been five years since the last Nationals in Adelaide, but the 2023 National Club Championships is now in the books, with a fantastic weekend of games being held. A huge thanks to everyone who made this tournament possible, from the players, to the coaches, to the referees and the supporters, you make events like this possible and worthwhile. We had solid numbers all weekend, giving us a platform to build from for future years.
And now, without any further ado, we move into the action.
Day 1 of the B Grade competition saw each team play a complete round-robin cycle, with four games on the day, playing everyone else once. Melbourne looked to be the strongest team, not dropping a match for the day, with only a draw to Flinders blemishing their record. Scaldis only dropped their game against Melbourne, beating Flinders in the last match of the day, by a single goal, to secure second spot on the overnight rankings. Flinders emerged from Day 1 in third place, picking up three wins, one draw and one loss. Boomers were sitting in fourth at the end of the days play, with one win, while an inexperienced Arista side finished the day sitting in fifth.
Day 1 of the A Grade competition saw one-and-a-half round-robin cycles played, with the three teams meaning someone had to play an extra game. Boomers drew that particular straw, playing each opponent twice, and picking up four wins for their efforts. Arista wrapped up the day in second spot, with a win over Scaldis, who finished the day in third spot, still chasing a win, but with some narrow margins in their games.
Day 2 again saw each team play four round robin matches, before the top two teams squared off for finals. With Melbourne securing their spot in the final relatively early on in the day, on their way to not dropping a round-robin game all weekend, the battle for the second spot was heating up. The Flinders-Scaldis game was to prove pivotal, and with Flinders reversing the result from Day 1, that was enough to see them finish in second spot, with Scaldis just a single competition point behind. Boomers finished in fourth, with two wins, while Arista finished in fifth.
The final was a close affair, with nerves aplenty on display early. Flinders managed to score first, but Melbourne were not letting them get away, and soon pegged the goal back. Both teams struggled to string two goals together throughout much of the game, with the few instances of two in a row proving vital. Flinders managed to eke out a small lead heading into half-time, and the second half was much the same as the first. Melbourne managed to narrow the gap a few times, while Flinders were never able to pull away, with the final margin of four goals to Flinders being the largest margin of the match, showing how close the teams were all game, and indeed, all weekend.
Day 2 saw the conclusion of the triple-round-robin games, before the all important final. Boomers only had two games on the day, winning them both, to lock in their spot for the final. Arista and Scaldis played twice, with Arista winning both (albeit only by a single goal at the second asking), to lock in a Boomers-Arista final. Scaldis finished a gallant third, and will take plenty of positives away from the weekend.
The final match of the weekend was absolutely deserving of the decider, with both teams playing fantastic korfball all match. Outstanding long shooting under pressure from Boomers was countered by some exceptional passing to find open players from Arista, resulting in a high-scoring, free-flowing exhibition of the game we love. With more than a goal a minute scored, everyone at the game agreed it was a treat to watch. Boomers managed to slowly build out a a margin, which finally extended to five goals, running out 18-13 winners, and yet the game never truly felt secure until the final moments, such was the standard of play from both teams.
As always, all results from the weekend can be found at the National Championships hub.
Once again, thanks to everyone who made this tournament the success it was. We look forward to seeing everyone again in 2024, once again in Adelaide, as we look to make it even bigger and better again!