Bloods claim three-peat
It was deja vu for the Tocumwal in A grade, defeating Deni Rovers in the Picola League grand final for a third year in a row in Blighty on Saturday.
After a tight first half, the Bloods worked themselves to a six goal lead by three quarter time.
The Roos were unable to close this gap, and despite their best efforts, found themselves down by seven goals at the final whistle.
The premiership win saw the Bloods close out their year with a perfect record of 18-0, in a dominant season on their way to a threepeat.
The loss was heartbreaking for the Roos, who are still left chasing their first piece of silverware in A grade.
Tocumwal mid-courter Millie Ferguson claimed back to back best on court medal wins, taking intercept after intercept throughout the game.
Final score, Tocumwal 47 to Deni Rovers 40.
The Rovers started off strong against Toc, leading by five goals early on, before scores were level at quarter time at 11-all.
The well experienced Katrina Chellew combined with young star Georgia Stoate, with the pair working well together.
The mid-court was a strong unit in Jacq Davis, Kate Bird and Ferguson.
Their fire to play fair and clean was rewarded with the many turnovers leading to Toc. taking a 24 to 22 lead at half time.
Following the break the Bloods asserted themselves, with young rising star Gracie Reid taking to the court as WA while Davis was put into GA making the Deni defence work very hard.
Turning the ball over on numerous occasions, the Bloods made the most of their scoring opportunities to lead 35 to 29 with one quarter to play.
The final quarter saw an even battle, but the damage had already been done, with Tocumwal claiming a historic win.
Rovers coach Jemma Kerr said it was the third quarter that proved the difference.
‘‘Toc made changes with their WA and changed their shooting combination in the third and they took control,’’ she said.
‘‘We were looking all right at half time but the third quarter broke us.’’
Tocumwal’s Leah Pate shut down league best and fairest Lucy Howard, restricting her to only eight goals for the game, while Carissa Braybon played a strong game on the dangerous Chrissy Hurst.
But it was Ferguson’s defensive efforts in the mid-court that got her the nod for the medal, with playing coach Kate Bird praising her efforts.
‘‘She was fantastic, she was like a brick wall and the ball couldn’t get past her,’’ Bird said.
‘‘She read the ball really well, she had good hands, drove down the court very well, it was the best game of the season from her.’’
Tocumwal’s under-15s also claimed the flag, defeating Picola United by seven goals, 45 to 35.
With the Bloods claiming the flag in their junior ranks, Bird was hopeful the prolonged success could continue.
‘‘They (A-grade players) are excited and proud, but they’re tired after three years,’’ Bird said.
‘‘But the good thing is this year the juniors are coming through so we’ll try and maintain that (success) and the juniors are there to keep it going and the club is actually getting stronger.’’
Young guns Gracie Reid (right) and Jackie Thorpe in action. Photo courtesy David Jackson.