IT WOULD have been a complete wipe-out by local teams in Saturday’s Gippsland League grand finals, on the netball court and footy field, if not for the enduring efforts of the Leongatha B Graders.
Emulating their feat of last year, when they again saved the club further embarrassment, the Parrots really controlled the match this year against Maffra for most of the day with the goalers, Maddie Kerr and Kate Sperling, working like a well-oiled machine in the goal ring to turn all of Leongatha’s forward moves into points.
Abby Dowd was dynamo down the court and the transition work between Kate Rankin, Rachel Cameron and Georgia Riseley was a feature of the day.
The Parrots started strongly and that was their key to success in the match, settling more quickly than their opponents and crucially being very steady in attack and in goal.
They won the first quarter 7/12 and held
firm as Maffra came at them to win the second quarter 9/10.
During the third quarter, Maffra cut the lead to three at one stage but the Parrots were out to a six-goal advantage at the last change.
An injury to one of the Parrots’ defenders brought Kathy Reid into the defensive goal ring and she combined superbly with the other defenders, adding fresh attack on the ball, to make a real impact in the final term.
At one stage, Maffra again closed in on the Parrots but again it was the steady work of the Leongatha goalers, able to work the ball safely in close to the ring that made the difference.
In the end, they blew the score out to 44-37 as the heat went slightly out of the game in the last few minutes; time to enjoy the win this year.
The other local team engaged in Saturday’s grand final was the Wonthaggi Power Under 15s who also played well, without claiming the
They got out to a slow start in their match and worked their way steadily back into the contest by half-way through the third quarter, at one stage trailing by just two goals.
They were every bit the equal of Maffra but the slow start proved their undoing and Maffra held the advantage to win a high-standard, free-flowing contest.
In the A Grade grand final, Drouin turned the tables on their opponents Traralgon to win the premiership in convincing style.
Local interest was on the efforts of Sarah Roughead who played her role, in goal defence very well, earning the team several crucial turnovers while combining well with her GK to apply physical pressure to the Traralgon goalers.
Drouin looked a lot hungrier for success after last year’s disappointment and they
enjoyed the win.
Gippsland Netball Grand final results . . .
A Grade: Drouin 56 d Traralgon 46.
B Grade: Leongatha 44 d Maffra 37.
C Grade: Traralgon 54 d Moe 45.
U17: Moe 47 d Sale 27.
U15: Maffra 47 d Wonthaggi 39.
U13: Sale 30 d Bairnsdale 25.