The Redbacks were confident heading into the round against John Paul College after a season of small improvements against all schools except for Redeemer where we dropped half a game to a draw. JPC were also coming off a disappointing round, by their high standards, against WestMAC. However, JPC demonstrated why they were crowned the Trimester 1 Champion School through a very strong round against Ormiston College.
We finished the final round of the season with seven wins and 17 losses, our least amount of wins on a Saturday this season. However, the manner in which the Redbacks applied themselves was outstanding and all players should be proud of the size of the fight inside their competitive bodies.
The boys volleyball team was the most successful sport against JPC and won all games except for the Year 9 game. The Firsts, Seconds and Year 7 sides all had comfortable three set victories and team finished the season undefeated premiers. The Year 8 side dropped just the one set, as did the Year 10 side. The Year 10 game was an interesting game where the boys lost the first set and then were down by eight points in the second set. Mr Henville was bristling with frustration as he knows how talented the players are. His apparent frustration was because of wayward focus. After a stern talking to during a timeout the boys were able to switch on and win the second set then account for JPC comfortably in the third. Everyone involved with the team was very happy and proud of the backbone showed by the boys and there was a sense of relief that the boys were able to finish an up and down season strongly. The Year 9 side were outplayed by the eventual premier in JPC who seemed to make the right decisions during important points.
The girls basketballers have had a tough season by their high standards and JPC did not make things easy for the girls. JPC have a production line of talented basketballers, boys and girls, and their class was shown in their ability to finish of points. In many of the games the Redbacks had a lot of ball in the key, however, the soft touch required to lay the ball up was missing, along with the scoring opportunities. In the Firsts game OC was surprised to be up 24-11 midway through the third quarter. The quarter finished 24-18 and there was a sense of a significant upset. However, it was not to be and JPC had a remarkable turnaround in form to score 29 points to our 4 points in the fourth quarter.
The girls tennis players were on the cusp of achieving a 50% strike rate of the first time since 2010. Needing to win three games to achieve this the girls feel agonisingly short. The Firsts girls had a heartbreaking loss 3/26 to 3/27, which is remarkably the same losing score line as 2015! The Year 9 side also lost with equal sets won 3/24-3/31. It was a very competitive morning with no games being a whitewash. The girls should be very proud of their efforts this year. The tennis community has felt the Firsts girls have been incredibly unlucky with three very close losses against JPC, CHAC and St John’s.
The OC cricketers had an uncomfortable morning against JPC. The Third XI was the only team to register a win, which saw the side remain undefeated premiers! The First XI had already secured the premiership after WestMAC defeated JPC in Round 7. However, wanting to win the premiership outright the boys sent JPC into bat hoping to snare some early wickets. It was not to be and the opening JPC batsman developed a strong partnership well over 100. The team were set the task of chasing 204 runs for victory and it was too big a total for the Redbacks. The Second XI and Intermediate 1 and 3 side were also set too big a total to chase down as well. The Intermediate 2 side had a rain affected game and using the Duckworth-Lewis scoring system for rain affected games saw JPC take out the win.
Regardless of the win/loss count we are very proud of how the Redbacks applied themselves against JPC. A keen observer would note the excellent sportsmanship, desire to compete, support for mates and thirst for improvement from all Redbacks, every week. Sometimes in sport you just need the ball to bounce in the right direction for a bit of success and the intangible attitudes mentioned a sentence ago allows a player to capitalise on any ‘luck’ that may fall their way.
Well done on a terrific Trimester of sport Redbacks!