Flyers display trademark spirit
AS the Ipswich Flyers players enjoyed their annual "Silly Sunday'' tour, the overriding feeling was one of pride.
Although they lost Friday night's SEQ Challenge grand final, the Flyers were the only Women's Open Division 1 team to push season champions Western Districts.
The Flyers went down 53-50 at the State Netball Centre, having come within range of levelling the scores in the fourth quarter.
"We really had them scared,'' Flyers co-captain Emilie McInally said.
"We came from 12 points down.
"I'm very very proud of our efforts.
"If we had a few different calls and all those little things (went our way), we might have come out on top.
"Considering the last time we played them, we almost lost by 30, so it's pretty amazing.''
The Flyers were beaten 54-38 in that semi-final clash.
However, after the Flyers came so close to winning their fifth grand final in a decade, McInally had nothing but praise for her teammates.
"Everybody just rose to the occasion and played their hearts out,'' she said.
"We had a really great crowd too, which was very nice to have.''
Reflecting on their season where the Flyers finished second after the preliminary rounds, McInally said Ipswich netball had plenty to build on.
"They (Western Districts) are probably one of the biggest challenges we've had over the years,'' she said.
"We are not often challenged like that during the season.
"We were probably their (Western Districts) only challenge for the year.
"It gave us a lot of knowledge how good we are as a team. Reassurance that we were able to really match the skills of those girls.''
McInally expected the Ipswich players to return next season.
"When you lose a grand final like that, you always want to come back,'' she said, having shared the captaincy duties with Liz Hales.
The team celebrated making another grand final by enjoying a few drinks around Ipswich pubs and clubs.
And true to their team professionalism, they were well dressed for the tour.