Blues win ex­tra time thriller

Wangaratta Chronicle - - O & K Grand Finals Netball League -

struck the court as the Greta bench emp­tied and scenes of joy and emo­tion shouted over the court.

Greta de­fender Re­becca Duryea was named best on court for her stel­lar job in cutting off King Val­ley’s at­tack with typ­i­cal in­ter­cepts, set­ting up the flow and out­re­bound­ing the Roo shoot­ers.

Tay­lah Reidy fin­ished with 27 goals, only eclipsed by Grace Pat­ter­son’s 29, while Su­san Gin­nivan con­trolled the pace and led the Blues chip­ping in 16 goals and miss­ing just two op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Amy Byrne re­cov­ered quickly from a fall to fin­ish with 12 goals, and showed poise in her cir­cle to look for the higher per­cent­age shot un­der enor­mous pres­sure.

The win ended King Val­ley’s quest for three A grade pre­mier­ships in a row, and brought joy to Greta who last won the A grade pre­mier­ship in 2012.

Greta coach Lind­sey Humphries put her side's B grade loss be­hind her quickly to fo­cus her troops and swoop into ac­tion.

“I am amazed, I am so proud of the girls and how they went about the job to­day,” Humphries said.

“They didn’t make a fuss when they were eight goals down and they kept chip­ping away; they worked so hard to get there.”

Humphries had one mes­sage through the year and re­it­er­ated that be­tween full time and the be­gin­ning of ex­tra time.

“There was only one mes­sage be­fore ex­tra time and that was to do what we have trained to do all year and that was to win a grand fi­nal,” she said.

“We don’t want to give it away in th­ese last 14 min­utes of the sea­son.”

Tay­lah Reidy and Re­becca Duryea were huge for the Blues in the last 29 min­utes of the game.

“For such a young player Tay­lah played with such ma­tu­rity and com­po­sure,” Humphries said.

“I couldn’t be prouder of her.

“We re­ally started rolling when we moved Bec (Duryea) down on to Grace Pat­ter­son and re­ally nul­li­fied her in­flu­ence, that’s when we started get­ting on top and get­ting back into the game.

“I knew Bec would do that job.”

For the Roos, it was an un­de­feated sea­son be­fore los­ing the sec­ond semi fi­nal, win­ning the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against Tar­rawingee and then go­ing down to Greta by two goals in a thrilling ex­tra time fin­ish.

King Val­ley coach Deanna Maw­son said the re­sult came down to fit­ness, an as­pect of the Roos’ game that they have prided them­selves on in the past four years.

“Ex­tra time was dev­as­tat­ing, our legs were hurt­ing, we were tired,” Maw­son said.

“We re­grouped and got two goals up, we changed ends and then Greta fired away.

“We stopped mov­ing and I think we stuffed around with the ball a bit in the cir­cle but that was to do with their de­fence.

“Greta is a good bunch of girls and worked their butts off to get to where they are now; we are dev­as­tated at the mo­ment but we will be back.”

BY CAM POT­TER cpot­ter@ ne­me­

AFTER four quar­ters of fren­zied ac­tion Greta and King Val­ley could still not be split, but 14 min­utes of de­ter­mined work from the Blues saw them push ahead to win by two goals.

With two blocks of seven min­utes in ex­tra time to fol­low the 32-all score line at full time, the Ovens and King A grade was ex­tended after a crack­ing hour of fast paced ac­tion.

For the game to go to ex­tra time was spe­cial in it­self with the Blues trail­ing King Val­ley by eight goals at half­time and a three-peat of Roo pre­mier­ships looked a cer­tainty.

The Blues were get­ting their shots to fall but the Roos just tight­ened up de­fen­sively and lim­ited their chances.

Greta reg­is­tered 18 shots for 14 makes in the first half com­pared to 27 at­tempts for 22 shots for King Val­ley.

To their credit the Blues turned it all around in the sec­ond half.

A 10-5 third term got Greta back to within three goals, be­fore an 8-5 fi­nal quar­ter which pro­vided a great spec­ta­cle to the strong crowd.

Poise un­der score­board pres­sure, phys­i­cal pres­sure and against the clock was cru­cial and bril­liant plays from the Blues which had brought them back from the brink con­tin­ued deep into the fi­nal quar­ter.

Grace Pat­ter­son and Tay­lah Reidy bat­tled it out for the lead at op­po­site ends of the court go­ing shot for shot be­fore the siren sounded and ex­tra time was needed.

The first seven minute ex­tra time pe­riod was all King Val­ley - break­ing the Blues’ the Roos man­aged a two-goal lead and with the siren blow­ing, play­ers im­me­di­ately switched ends and play re­sumed to de­cide the pre­mier­ship.

Reidy picked up where she left off and hav­ing al­ready nailed pres­sure shots at the end of the fourth quar­ter, was cool and calm and shot the lights out putting the team on her back to pull back King Val­ley’s lead and level the scores once again.

A Su­san Gin­nivan goal after a key in­ter­cept by Greta’s pres­sure handed the Blues a one-goal lead, and all of a sud­den King Val­ley were chas­ing Greta.

Reidy stepped up again to give the Blues back the lead, and an­other Roo turnover led to Greta hold­ing a two-goal buf­fer.

The lead came at the right time for the Blues, and as the siren sounded pan­de­mo­nium

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