U17s win premier­ship

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

BONNIE Doon’s un­der 17 net­ballers have won their first ever premier­ship since join­ing the Ovens and King league, de­feat­ing Glen­rowan by 18 goals in the Ovens and King grand fi­nal in Wangaratta on Satur­day.

In a re­mark­able run of suc­cess, only drop­ping two games through the sea­son, Bonnie Doon en­tered Satur­day’s fi­nal un­der­dogs as the side was un­able to de­feat Glen­rowan in the home and away sea­son.

Af­ter a mo­men­tous win the pre­vi­ous Satur­day against King Val­ley, the girls trained well through the week and re­mained calm and fo­cused through the lead up to the big game.

Doon started well in the first quarter with im­mense pres­sure in de­fence caus­ing Glen­rowan to turn over the ball on count­less oc­ca­sions.

So­phie Wood­ward played a break­out quarter that saw her find form early, shut­ting down the drive of the Glen­rowan wing at­tack and slow­ing the flow into the goal ring.

Milli How­land moved into the wing at­tack position in the lat­ter part of the sea­son and her con­tri­bu­tion on Satur­day was stel­lar, eas­ily find­ing space and drive through the mid court.

Coach Michelle Tan­ner said she ex­pected her team to be bet­ter ad­justed in the fi­nal and more set­tled as they were in the first fi­nal against Glen­rowan, and this showed tak­ing a one goal lead at the first break.

The crowd roared as Bonnie Doon kicked it up a notch in the sec­ond, with the goalers tak­ing cen­tre stage.

Glen­rowan showed con­cern early in the week, stat­ing that their fo­cus was to “limit the in­flu­ence of Mia Tan­ner”, how­ever, Tan­ner showed strength and de­ter­mi­na­tion be­yond her years, domi- nat­ing the mid court and goal ring and help­ing her team to an eight goal lead at the main break.

Bonnie Doon were set­tled and in con­trol lead­ing into the third, where Cass Turner re­turned to her sea­son best form, tak­ing some in­spi­ra­tional in­ter­cepts in the mid court, shut­ting down any mo­men­tum Glen­rowan tried to find.

Coach Tan­ner said that im­por­tant games are won in de­fence, and that would be the key to suc­cess.

“Cass can be a game changer with the way she in­stinc­tively reads the play and we need her to fire up if we are go­ing to beat Glen­rowan,” Tan­ner said be­fore the game.

The de­fen­sive combo of Turner and cap­tain Bec Wat­son was text book per­fec­tion with Wat­son com­pletely tak­ing the goal shooter out of con­tention.

Her work­load in­creased each quarter caus­ing nu­mer­ous held balls as frus­tra­tion crept into Glen­rowan’s game as the of­fen­sive con­tacts mounted.

Doon led at the last break by 12 but knew that the game was not won un­til the fi­nal whis­tle.

With t he mo­men­tum go­ing Doon’s way for most of the game, Faith How­land and Amy Bell held fast in the sub­sti­tute po­si­tions, sup­port­ing their team and gain­ing the re­spect of both their coaches and fel­low play­ers.

“Pow­er­house” Brid­gette Fox stayed strong in the cen­tre position and was a class above her op­po­nent all day, and was cru­cial in the mid court rack­ing up the goal as­sists and in­ter­cepts hav­ing a big im­pact.

Un­ques­tion­ably best on court on Satur­day was Doon’s An­gel Gra­ham, who was quiet early, but then with a new found con­fi­dence stepped up in the at­tack end dom­i­nat­ing her de­fender and scor­ing eas­ily.

Tan­ner said Gra­ham is the quiet achiever down in the goal ring and isn’t rated highly enough by the op­po­si­tion.

“An­gel is very de­ceiv­ing and shoots at a very high per­cent­age each week, and the ball move­ment be­tween her and Mia shows ma­tu­rity that isn’t nor­mally seen at their age,” Tan­ner said.

At the fi­nal whis­tle Bonnie Doon smashed Glen­rowan by 18 goals, tak­ing the first ever flag for their club since en­ter­ing the Ovens and King league in 2009.

In the af­ter match speeches Bec Wat­son thanked her club and her team, stat­ing that “they were more of a fam­ily”, and coach Michelle Tan­ner con­grat­u­lated her girls say­ing that all their hard work had paid off.

Tak­ing the honours also on Satur­day was An­gel Gra­ham, claim­ing the tro­phy for MVP in the grand fi­nal, and also earn­ing her a spe­cial gift from one of our gen­er­ous spon­sors, Phud­leys, who do­nated a watch to the best on court for the day.

The coach­ing group at Doon would like to thank the in­cred­i­ble amount of sup­port from the crowd on Satur­day and ev­ery­one who came out to sup­port the Baby Bomberettes, our ma­jor spon­sor Van­tage Fu­els and also the um­pires who cre­ated a fair and sports­man­like play­ing field for both teams.

PHOTO: Marc Bongers

HIS­TORY MAK­ERS: Bonnie Doon’s un­der 17 net­ballers claimed the side’s first ever premier­ship in the Ovens and King league on the week­end, de­feat­ing Glen­rowan by 18 goals. Team mem­bers are (not in or­der) An­gel Gra­ham, Mia Tan­ner, Mil­li­cent How­land,...

PHOTOS: Marc Bongers

TOUGH TUS­SLE: Bonnie Doon’s Mia Tan­ner and Glen­rowan's Anna Wal­lis com­pete for the ball.

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