Long time patron of the Midweek Competition Bruce Martin wraps up the 2018 season
Bealey’s Alehouse Mid-week Grand Finals Night Wednesday 12th September 2018
Written by Bruce Martin
The Mid-week basketball season came to a fitting climax with plenty of people supporting their teams strongly on Grand finals night.
In the MW Men’s grand Final Atami retained their 2017 title with a nail-biting win over the veteran University side 51-50.
It was Atami’s second title in a row but until then the former Chair of the CBA board Jeremy Phillips had a long wait for his first title, since joining the competition in the 2009 season.
In their first year they were beaten by Checkers White 52-39 in the final, fourth in 2011 beaten by Jason Rivett and his long term University team. Again, in the 2012 Grand final they were beaten by ‘Milkie’ Chris Chapman and his Checkers White team 94-84. In 2014 they were beaten into fourth place by none other than University and also in the 2016 semi-final, again by University 41-25. Fast-forward to the 2017 season and Atami lost to University three times in Round robin play and had plenty of motivation to make 2017 their year. University with titles in 2008, 2012 and 2016 looked set to retain their title.
Atami finally took its first championship in 2017 with a narrow 36-33 over University and the 2018 final was much the same.
Checkers White, Wolverines and Atami shared the round robin 9-3 and University 4th with 7-4 record such was the competitive nature of the grade. University then thumped Atami in the Top 4 round robin, both winning a Grand finals berth.
Atami started the final strongly, and were quickly out to a 10-2 lead, with power forward Jesse Burgess scoring well inside, and University not converting many of their opportunities at the rim.
However, University worked their way back through the efforts of David Baird (22) and were only behind 27-24 at the break. Baird is another regular nominee in the grades first five list. The lead changed hands about six times and was level on three occasions, including 36-36 and 46-46. In the final two minutes University were forced to foul to stop the clock and Atami obliged by missing many free throws which nearly cost them the game. Finally, Atami kept their cool and retained their title with a narrow 51-50 win. Jesse Burgess and Craig Gilliard both slotted 10 points to keep Atami close leading up to the thrilling conclusion.
In a consolation 3 v 5 play-off Sam Crozier (40) and grade MVP Paul Isitt (33) enabled Checkers White to thump Raiders 101-69 while in the 5th place play-off the new UC team came from behind in the closing moments to upset Celebration Lions 60-59 with a point for point battle in the second spell. Isaiah Smiler top scored for UC with 16 points while Tamatea Wihongi had 19 for the Lions.
Bealey’s Alehouse Mid-Week Women’s Grand Final
Pioneer Pumas beat the 2005 and 2013 champion CYA comfortably in the Women’s MW Grand Final 47-21.
CYA included long term campaigner Carmel Gunn, also a regular first five nominee, but was restricted by tight Pumas defence. Former Tall Fern Jane Lattimore, as well as Crystal Lenky and Ali Rooney also put in valiant efforts.
The Puma’s were originally the 2016 champion under the name of Pioneer Saints, set up by Paula Wilkinson and her daughter Kim Jarvis and managed by Katrina Roberts, beating University 42-32 in the final that year.
Under another name, Pioneer Yellow was upset by Lisa Rooney’s Pioneer Blue 30-24 in the 2017 Grand Final but had gone 14-0 in the round robin play earlier in the season.
The Pumas strengths lies in former Wildcats Jo Casey (18), Jarvis and this season Connie Dick (17) after returning from Australia. All three were also Women’s premier players of note.
After being edged 33-35 in the Top 4 RR by the Pumas, the defending champion Pioneer Blue had to settle for playing Checkers Blackhawks in the third-place play-off with Rooney leading the Blues scoring with 15 points to beat the Blackhawks 54-24.
Halswell accounted for Royals 49-28 in the 5th place play-off.
See you all again next season and a special thanks to all referees and player referees that did such a grand job this season. – Bruce Martin
Al Robson and the Special O team wish to thank all those teams that played them during the season, especially several ladies teams that enjoyed the opportunity like Pioneer Blue, Halswell and Royals that were given a good run for their money. Special O team had something like a 11-3 win record.
Special Olympics BBall-athon Fundraiser
Thankyou also to all the teams that supported the BBall-athon to raise money to get Carlton Vivian off to S.O. World games in Abu Dhabi in March. It is not too late to make a donation as more is still required so email firstname.lastname@example.org for banking details if you can help.
Bealey’s Alehouse Mid-Week Grand Finals night Scorers were:
Mid-week Men’s Grand Final: Atami 51 (Jesse Burgess 10, Craig Gilliard 10) University 50 (David Baird 22). HT 27-24.
Play-off Men’s 3 v 5: Checkers White 101 (Sam Crozier 40, Paul Isitt 33, Terry Brunel 19) Raiders 59 (Julian Thompson 16, Steve Gainsford 12, Hamish Williams 12). HT: 49.21.
Play-off Men’s 5th: UC 60 (Isaiah Smiler 16, Alvin Chan 15, Zander Simson 12) Celebration Lions 59 (Tamatea Wihongi 19, Tane October 16). HT: 26-27.
Mid-week Women’s Grand Final: Pioneer Pumas 47 (Jo Casey 18, Connie Dick 17) CYA 21 (Carmel Gunn 7, Crystal Lenky 6). HT: 35-11.
Play-off Women’s 3rd pace: Pioneer Blue 54 (Lisa Rooney 15, Jen Rose Enmas 13, Jaclyn Parker 13) Checkers Blackhawks 24 (Allison Curran 10). HT: 35-11.
Play-off Women’s 5th place: Halswell 49 (Loralee Waiau 13, Niamh Clerkin 11) Royals 28 (Denise Ryan 10). HT: 21-14.