Under 16s win the flag
EUROA JUNIOR FOOTBALL NETBALL CLUB – UNDER 14, DIVISION ONE, NETBALL
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.
TRUE CHAMPIONS: The Euroa under 14, division one team celebrated a great win against St Mary’s.