Bloods claim three-peat

Southern Riverina news - - LOCAL CLASSIES -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.