Blues win extra time thriller
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@ nemedia.com.au
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