IN THE Gippsland League C grade grand final last Saturday, it was another match-up between the two clubs south of the Strzeleckis, Leongatha and Wonthaggi, and it was the Power girls who got out of the blocks best.
They took it out to a handy four-goal lead at the first change with Sommer Schmidt and Sharon Anderson goaling confidently and Hope Dudley and Jo Duscher doing well in the back court.
But the Leongatha girls settled it down in the second quarter and closed the gap with Kathy Reid and Ashlee Van Rooy making better position in the goal ring, the defenders Melinda McLennan and Tegan Renden doing well and the mid-court players applying pressure to Wonthaggi in transition.
Early in the third quarter there was only two goals in it, in Wonthaggi’s favour as both teams forced turnovers and threw the ball away under pressure.
Elise Desantis was having an impact for the Power through the centre but the scores were level 23-all going into the last quarter.
There were signs of nervousness from both teams goalers and ultimately only 11 goals were scored in the run to the line.
At 25-all Kathy Reid nailed one to go ahead and the next centre went to Leongatha for another Parrots’ goal. Leongatha forced a turnover at the Power end by Reid to Van Rooy for a miss left the door open to Wonthaggi.
Leongatha had another chance to goal but missed again and excitement levels peaked again when Lilly Sharples popped through a clutch goal but the Parrots replied straight away and with two minutes to go, they got to two in front again. They got the next one as well and held the advantage to the line.
At the presentations afterwards, Parrots’ coach Kate Sperling admitted that she thought the Power girls had her team’s measure when they started so well but paid credit to her girls for hanging in there and ultimately surging into the lead in the last quarter.
Best on court, and announcing her retirement, was Leongatha’s Kathy Reid.
Final score: Leongatha 30 Wonthaggi 27.
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