Albatross outplays Penguin in netball final

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Max Bree (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, Netball

Leading Seaman Jodie Khan from HMAS Albatross with the ball during the Eastern Australian Area Netball Competition, held at the Indoor Sports Centre, Alexandria. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Leading Seaman Jodie Khan from HMAS Albatross with the ball during the Eastern Australian Area Netball Competition, held at the Indoor Sports Centre, Alexandria.

A male-dominated HMAS Albatross side won the Eastern Australian Area Netball Competition, outdoing HMAS Penguin in the final at Alexandria in late September.

Albatross
defender Seaman Maritime Logistics Personnel Mardi Longford was one of only two women on the side.

“I hadn’t played in the team before but I was told they did pretty well in last year’s comp, so we were pretty confident heading in,” she said.

“I was surprised the team had a majority of guys. The guys are a lot rougher, whereas girls tend to be more skilled.”

The Albatross side faced a number of male-dominated teams throughout the comp but Seaman Longford had ways of handling it.

“It’s always a struggle when you’re dealing with a tall attacker,” she said.

“I can jump pretty high but we had a strong mid-court that made it pretty hard for the attackers to get through.”

Seaman Longford said many of the male players performed well on the court despite their lack of experience.

“There were a lot of guys who didn’t know what they were doing but they managed to get past it and play really well,” she said.

“It was still a pretty high level of competition. The guys are a lot taller, which makes it harder.

“The Physical Training Instructors' side was very rough, but they were pretty bad at netball.”

Coming into the final against Penguin, Seaman Longford didn’t foresee the make-up of the opposition.

“I was actually surprised they had a team full of guys, not one girl in there, and they did really well,” she said.

Albatross
went on to dominate, winning the final 12-2.

“I don’t think I was that surprised that we won because we were going well throughout, but we hadn’t done any training together,” Seaman Longford said.

“I was a bit apprehensive before we started the day because I didn’t know what our team was going to be like. On the morning it worked out really well, we even had about four subs.”