Un­der 16s win the flag

EUROA JU­NIOR FOOT­BALL NET­BALL CLUB – UN­DER 14, DI­VI­SION ONE, NET­BALL

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By SHAUN HEARMON

WITH the di­vi­sion two girls al­ready win­ning the flag and the un­der 12 girls play­ing off in the game be­fore, the scene was set for the un­der 14s, di­vi­sion one grand fi­nal, with our girls tak­ing on an un­de­feated St Mary’s team.

A fan­tas­tic home crowd had turned up to sup­port the girls de­spite the wind that felt like it had come straight off the South Pole.

The St Mary’s girls won the toss and chose the ball, leav­ing cap­tain Liza Hearmon to choose the first side they would be shoot­ing to­wards and she chose the side with the def­i­nite home town ad­van­tage.

The girls lined up like last week, with Liza Hearmon goal shooter, Tea­gan Kubeil goal at­tack, Madi Hearmon wing at­tack, Jas Raleigh wing de­fence, Bella Vaz cen­tre and the two girls that are more like a wall in de­fence Ge­or­gia Brom­ley and Katy Frewin.

For the girls there wasn’t too much ex­pec­ta­tion as St Marys had de­feated them dur­ing in their pre­vi­ous meet­ings this year.

Also, they had gone through the year un­de­feated, but the Euroa girls had been train­ing their back­sides off and had re­ally come to­gether as a strong team.

They had put in one of the great games last week to win their way into the grand fi­nal, so as par­ents we could see that any­thing was pos­si­ble.

As usual the girls lined up at the start of the first quar­ter, the whis­tle blew and it was on!

And the fi­nal’s nerves the girls started with last week were nowhere to be seen.

They put tremen­dous pres­sure on the op­po­si­tion.

They forced a held ball de­ci­sion against them, gained pos­ses­sion then they moved the ball down to the goalers and Teag shot truly to put the first score on the board for the mag­gies and the game.

Then with the next cen­tre pass, the girls worked the ball down, find­ing Liza un­der the ring as she put her first one through for the game.

But there’s a rea­son why the St Marys girls had not dropped a game and they hit back hard.

They worked well to­gether and their goalers had the de­fend­ers un­der pres­sure, and their goalers rarely missed a shot.

Which­ever way the game went, it promised to be a cracker from the start.

Hard run­ning from Jas and Madi kept the pres­sure up through the mid­dle while great team­work and ac­cu­rate shoot­ing kept the Mag­gies right in the game.

Down back Katy and Ge­or­gia had their hands full con­tain­ing the slick St Mary’s goalers, who kept find­ing a way to work into space and with such ac­cu­racy man­aged to keep the pres­sure up.

Then with the score at 10 goals each and St Marys with the ad­van­tage, Katy made a cru­cial in­ter­cept, the girls worked the ball down and with Teag putting the ball through, the Mag­gies wres­tled back a small ad­van­tage, go­ing into the quar­ter time break with the nar­row­est of leads 12-11.

At quar­ter time, coach Michelle im­plored her girls: “Stay tight, keep the pres­sure up” and with a little one on one ad­vice, the girls were ready.

The sec­ond quar­ter started with an early turnover from the St Mary’s girls but the Mag­gies were able to win it back and once again Teag shot truly.

De­fen­sively it was like the light had been switched on with Katy and Ge­or­gia go­ing up a cou­ple of gears, wear­ing their op­po­nents like a cheap suit they made life very tough.

Ge­or­gia pounced on loose balls and Katy got more than her fair share of in­ter­cepts.

Through the mid­dle the girls didn’t take a back­wards step.

With an em­pha­sis on her pass­ing, Madi never missed a tar­get and from out of nowhere Bella would ap­pear as she in­ter­cepted the St Mary’s passes as if they were pass­ing it to her.

Jas never stopped run­ning and she pro­vided a vi­tal link in the chain when get­ting the ball down to the goalers and then she worked hard in de­fence, and our goalers were un­stop­pable.

Liza was a tall tar­get and strong un­der the ring, with in­cred­i­ble ac­cu­racy and some un­con­ven­tional look­ing shots, com­bined with Teag, they kept the score­board tick­ing over.

What be­came ob­vi­ous was the sup­port from the home crowd.

There was a buzzing at­mos­phere and ap­plause when the Mag­gies scored to al­most dead si­lence when St Mary’s shot.

One girl even won­dered if they got the ball in at one stage.

When the whis­tle blew for half time the Mag­gies had in­creased their lead to go in three goals up.

Half time score: Euroa 21; St Mary’s 18

Like last week coach Michelle made some changes com­ing into the third quar­ter.

Madi moved into the cen­tre, Caitlin See­ber came on into wing at­tack and Alisha Gar­ret as wing de­fence.

As you would ex­pect, this game was never go­ing to be a one-sided affair.

The St Mary’s girls are a tal­ented, well drilled out­fit and they came out with their backs up and piled on three unan­swered goals, but the Euroa girls were not go­ing to let this one slip.

They re­grouped and pulled to­gether as a team to wres­tle back the score and for the ma­jor­ity of the quar­ter it was goal for goal, which was a great spec­ta­cle for the crowd that had come to watch but a nerve wrack­ing 15 min­utes for the par­ents and coaches watch­ing.

What was ev­i­dent in the third quar­ter was that there was no stand out player but the group was sim­ply out­stand­ing.

When the girls came to­gether as such a team, work­ing seam­lessly, know­ing where to run and where to pass the ball, that’s where the ben­e­fit of all their ex­tra train­ing was clear to see.

Back­ing them­selves and their process, the girls stuck fat, where pre­vi­ously St Mary’s would pile on 10 goals tak­ing the game away from them, the Mag­gies matched them goal for goal and by the end of the quar­ter still clung onto the small­est of leads (29-28).

As the team strapped our­selves in for the last quar­ter, the at­mos­phere was elec­tric.

There was a mas­sive crowd - we asked the sup­port­ers to turn out and sup­port the girls and that you did.

There’re a tremen­dous amount of things that have to go right to win a premier­ship and hav­ing such a crowd ad­van­tage, def­i­nitely made a dif­fer­ence.

These girls could taste the win and noth­ing was go­ing to stop them.

Their skilled team­work and pres­sure at the ball lifted again, Katy (Cindy Lou) and Per­fect Ge­or­gia were sim­ply un­stop­pable and forced the St Marys goalers into some un­char­ac­ter­is­tic misses, then bring­ing in re­bounds and pounc­ing on any loose balls.

They re­stricted the mi­nor premiers to just four goals in the last quar­ter, what an ef­fort.

Madi was mer­cu­rial in the cen­tre, glid­ing up and down the court, lift­ing her game up to an­other level, a proven per­former on the big stage un­der big game pres­sure.

Caitlin and Alisha found their groove as they worked the ball through the mid­dle and de­fended like cham­pi­ons.

They put pres­sure on their op­po­si­tion and forced them into mis­takes while Liza was shoot­ing them from ev­ery­where.

She fin­ished with a mas­sive 28 goals for the game but was as strong as she had ever been un­der the ring, hold­ing her po­si­tion, com­pet­ing hard when the ball was passed in to her and bring­ing in any re­bounds.

And as for Teag, look up ‘work hard’ in the dic­tionary and there will be a pic­ture of her.

In heavy traf­fic, up and down the court, Teag just doesn’t quit.

Be­tween her and Liza they are quite a for­mi­da­ble com­bi­na­tion in the goals.

As the quar­ter went on, to use a rac­ing anal­ogy the girls pulled out the whip.

They pulled away from their op­po­si­tion like a true cham­pion stayer.

As a par­ent, to see such a re­sult from all their hard work as it came to­gether, was amaz­ing, It was a true mas­ter­class. And when it was ob­vi­ous that the girls were go­ing to bring home the flag, the sup­port­ers could relax and en­joy what was an out­stand­ing game of net­ball.

In the end the girls won 42-32, a ten goal vic­tory over a side that had not lost a sin­gle game for three years, what a fan­tas­tic ef­fort.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Katy Frewin who was judged by the um­pires to be best on court for the game, a fan­tas­tic well de­served achieve­ment.

And con­grat­u­la­tions to the St Mary’s girls, a well-coached team who even when faced with de­feat never stopped play­ing a beau­ti­ful clean brand of net­ball.

A big thanks to all those in­volved, par­ents for cart­ing their kids left, right and cen­tre to games and ex­tra train­ing ses­sions, and scor­ing and time­keep­ing at the games and the fan­tas­tic com­mit­tee that work so hard to make sure ev­ery girl can have a go.

To the team man­ager, Jane and all she does both be­hind the scenes and on game day.

Lou, our pri­mary carer, and Liz, your vi­tal sup­port in get­ting our coach where she needs to be.

And fi­nally our coach Michelle - what can you say.

Michelle started the year with a bunch of girls, some had played to­gether, some had moved up an age di­vi­sion and one had moved from out of town.

Now as a par­ent, it is known what it’s like try­ing to or­gan­ise three girls let alone 10 but there is this group of in­di­vid­u­als who have been formed into a true team and have peaked at ab­so­lutely the right time.

The be­lief that Michelle put into the girls was un­wa­ver­ing, and all the par­ents put a lot of trust into the coach to lead these chil­dren.

She con­nected with them and re­gard­less of the re­sult, she has left them bet­ter peo­ple - a truly win­ning re­sult.

Go Mag­gies!

PHOTO: Dale Mann

TRUE CHAM­PI­ONS: The Euroa un­der 14, di­vi­sion one team cel­e­brated a great win against St Mary’s.

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