LEONGATHA wasn’t expected to win the premiership in B Grade this year.
They’d only narrowly squeaked through the semi-final in extra time and were delighted to have played well enough in the preliminary final to get their “one day in September” experience.
They’d been competitive against Traralgon during the season, without winning, and hoped to take it up to their higher rated opponents in the grand final.
They did better than that. The girls played the game of their lives, displaying crisp passing and movement through the mid-court where Abby Dowd, Mia Vernon and Lucy Vernon teamed seamlessly together.
They applied committed, relentless pressure on the Traralgon ball carriers throughout and neither Kathy Reid (ultimately named best on court) nor Jaclyn Smith allowed their opponents an easy goal.
Up the other end, goalers Bree Littlejohn and Taylar Kerr, went forward or back in perfect harmony and rarely missed a shot.
The quarter by quarter scores show Leongatha getting out to a narrow lead 7v9 at the first break and extending it to 18v21 at the half in a goal-for-goal affair in the second term. The Parrots retained their structure in the third quarter and crucially put on 12 goals to Traralgon’s 8 to be up by seven going into the last quarter. Traralgon by contrast made a few changes, trying to spark their effort, putting their wing defence into centre and swapping out the wing attack.
But it clearly unsettled their flow and Leongatha went away with it finishing full of running 50 to 34; the perfect match at exactly the right time.
At the end of the day, it was all Leongatha had to show for a day that promised so much but the club took a lot out of the girls win and celebrated with them well into the night.