Toc. A grade’s hat-trick is one of five local flags
It’s tough enough to win one premiership, let alone three . . . unless your Tocumwal’s A grade side.
The well-oiled group has continued its reign as Picola League North-west champions with an impressive win at Blighty on Saturday.
It was also the third grand final loss in a row for the Deniliquin Rovers.
Despite the Rovers’ quick start early in the first quarter, the Bloods managed to settle and take a two goal lead at half time.
They came out with more intensity in the second half and slowly pulled away in the third quarter.
The Bloods played like an undefeated team, refusing to buckle under any comeback the Rovers tried to pull.
While it was her first year in the Bloods’ top grade, coach Kate Bird said she did not feel pressure going into the grand final.
‘‘It feels good to win; it’s pretty easy to coach when you have such a great group of girls,’’ she said.
‘‘Deni in the past has jumped, so having scores tied at quarter time was important.’’
Wing defender Millie Ferguson was named best on ground, which Bird said was ‘‘well and truly deserved’’.
‘‘She read the play well, took risks and intercepted at the right times.’’
While strong in previous years, Bird said Tocumwal had the extra advantage of having additional players available for the grand final this year. Nine lined up as part of the team on Saturday.
‘‘It took time to change the culture of the team to playing with nine rather than seven,’’ she said.
‘‘Now with the junior development we are able to get younger players such as Gracie Reid and Georgia Stoate into the team.
‘‘Both did an excellent job; Gracie had a high impact game and Georgia shot really well.
‘‘We’re definitely aiming for four premierships, so if we keep mentoring the juniors and continue the whole club contribution we’ll certainly win next year.’’
The A grade side was not the only Tocumwal team flying the flag on the way home from Blighty on Saturday, with the under 15s netballers and fourths footballers also coming away winners.
Club president Mal Hart said the A grade win was really special.
‘‘To win three in a row at the senior level of a very competitive league is an excellent achievement for our club,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s no reason the girls can’t go four in a row. We had younger players who earned some game time in the grand final so the future is looking good.
‘‘The results help promote our club in the area and with the two Tocumwal schools full, we are able to encourage younger players to come to the club to learn under great teaching coaches.’’
Hart also praised the fourths for ‘‘thrashing’’ the Deni Rovers, 14.5 (89) to 4.3 (27).
‘‘It’s unprecedented what they achieved,’’ he said.
‘‘To have one goal scored against them all year and to concede less than 20 points (during the home and away season) is remarkable.’’
Jerilderie Football Netball Club also returned from Blighty with two flags, for the thirds footballers and C grade netballers.
Tocumwal steamrolled their way to victory in the Picola League fourths grand final, dominating the Deni Rovers by 62 points at Blighty on Saturday.
A devastating six goal first quarter orchestrated by the Bloods saw the Roos caught behind early in the match.
Tocumwal added another five majors over the following two quarters, while the Rovers managed just the one.
With the game all but over the Roos didn’t drop their heads, winning the last quarter by one point, kicking 3.1 to 3.0.
Bloods ruckman Zander Griffin was declared the best on ground earning him the medal, while Baylee Morton was a focus up forward with seven majors.
For the Roos it was Raymond Murphy who was best with Tom Blake, Kaiden Joss, Haydn Mowat, Maisy Edwards and Pat Westcott all playing well.
Final score, Tocumwal 14.5 (89) to Deni Rovers 4.3 (27).
Tocumwal coach Bob Bourke said that the win was the culmination of four years at the helm
‘‘I’ve had a lot of these boys playing fourths for the past three or four years,’’ he said.
‘‘We have 10 players going up to thirds next year so it was good to send them off with a win.
‘‘Regardless of the result, we were most happy about the boys’ development as footy players.
‘‘They stuck to the game plan and worked hard for this win..’’
Bourke also agreed that Griffin was a deserved winner of the best on ground medal.
‘‘He’s very good at playing behind the kick,’’ he said.
‘‘He rebounded out of defence and has a big kick that proved crucial on Saturday.
‘‘I was a bit nervous heading into the game but the boys played well.
‘‘It was good to see them get on top early and for them to close out such a good season with a flag.’’
(Back, from left) Leah Pate, Carrissa Braybon, Jacq Davis, Georgia Stoate, Katrina Chellew and Leisa Desailly; (front) Gracie Reid, Millie Ferguson and Kate Bird.
Tocumwal’s fourths celebrate their premiership win following the presentation of the premiership cup. Photo courtesy Helen Barker.
Best on ground medal winner Zander Griffin with coach Bob Bourke.