Grafton netball star centre of grand final action
FORMER Grafton netball star and West Coast Fever centre Verity Charles doesn't buy into talk about finals jinxes.
The livewire mid-courter endured her second grand final loss when the Fever went down 62-59 to the Sunshine Coast Lightning in a thrilling Super Netball grand final in Perth on Sunday.
Charles' emotions were still raw yesterday as she ferried family who'd headed west to see the game to the airport.
"It was really just a seven-minute period in that third quarter that was the difference," she said.
"They shortened their game up and it was really difficult to defend against.
"It cost us, but it just goes to show you can't slip up against a team like that playing at this level."
The Fever beat the Lightning twice during the regular season but it was close on both occasions.
"We won by a goal both times, but really they were games that could have gone either way," Charles said.
Grand final wins have eluded Charles since she graduated to netball's elite level after a stellar junior career.
Charles launched her elite career with the Fever before moving to Queensland where she was part of the Firebirds team that lost the 2014 grand final to the Melbourne Vixens.
A year later Charles was nursing a broken wrist when her Firebirds teammates beat NSW 57-56 in the decider.
"That's sport," she said. "I don't question these sorts of things, it's just a bit of a tough break that you have to bounce back from."
That mental toughness allowed her to remain positive when she suffered an injury scare a few weeks ago playing against the Giants.
"Initially we thought it might be an ACL but it wasn't that bad," she said.
After her stint with the Firebirds, Charles returned to the Fever in 2016 but the team failed to fire initially.
"We only won two games last year," she said. "We're really proud of what we've achieved this year to finish second."