by Jack Lawrie
NETBALL: Night fixtures for the Monto Netball Association ended on a spectacular grand final between the Thunder Rats and the Shooting Stars.
It was a close game with the two teams tied up before the final quarter, before the Thunder Rats pulled ahead in a shocking run away effort, shooting seven goals to win the game 20-14.
Both teams had played evenly leading up to the final, with the Shooting Stars having won the previous bout between the two.
This added an extra intensity to the final, which the Thunder Rats' upset victory capitalised on.
Netball President Belinda Steger said it capped off a strong season for the Monto Netballers.
"It was an awesome season, everyone played well,” Steger said.
There were eight teams playing in the night fixtures, with the two final teams playing almost undefeated.
Alannah King was named Best and Fairest Player for 2017 by the players.
Netball Association secretary Tara Harm said King was named Best and Fairest by the players for her dedication and eagerness on the court.
"Alannah's a great young player, she's very active in wing and centre and her and her sister are great fun to watch,” Harm said.
A major development in the season was bringing in experienced umpires.
Mandy Dawson, Bec Evans, Brooke Radel and Harm umpired virtually the whole season.
"In past years the teams had to provide their own umpires which sometimes were people with little to no experience,” Harm said.
"The players definitely preferred umpires who knew what they were doing.”
With the season wrapped up, plans are in motion to move ahead with work on new netball courts.
The Netball Association have been approved for a 'Get Playing Places and Spaces' grant from the Queensland government to replace the two netball courts.
Monto was the second of three North Burnett towns between Gayndah and Mundubbera to receive their grant of $150,000.
Harm said it would be a while before the work got underway.
"We're still not sure if we're going to be moving or stating in the same location, but it will be decided on soon,” she said.