Un­de­feated Demons sink Hop­pers

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

sec­ond term, ev­ery pass was pres­sured, ev­ery goal was cheered and the teams still couldn’t push the other away.

At half­time the Demons led by just three goals, 24-21 with a 10-8 quar­ter to Mi­lawa com­ing on the back of some fan­tas­tic plays.

The third term was evenly poised, both sides scored eight goals, and the bat­tle for the ball slowed the tempo of the match with prize in pos­ses­sion out­weigh­ing the need to score heav­ily.

It set up a thrilling fi­nal quar­ter.

An 11-8 rally by Mi­lawa in the fi­nal term clinched a game-win­ning lead - Moyhu were go­ing to come out and re­ally fire and they did.

“I am just so proud of the team and es­pe­cially the younger girls, they stood up, did their job and played re­ally well and kept a level head; that’s all I could ask for.”

Miche­lini said Noemi Brock­hoff and Gemma Gaul were out­stand­ing and will

out to just a one-goal lead at half­time, 20-19.

That lead was all the break Mi­lawa needed, and while it fluc­tu­ated bal­loon­ing to 11 goals at one stage, the Hop­pers never cut the deficit be­low five goals for the re­main­der of the match.

Demons wing at­tack Gemma Gaul was named best on court as one of the younger play­ers that was able to step up and adapt for the win­ners, dis­play­ing pa­tience around the goal cir­cle and val­ued pos­ses­sion when mov­ing the ball for­ward.

Kim and Kerri Miche­lini both shot at 74 per cent with Kim scor­ing 25 goals and Kerri chip­ping in 17 for the cham­pi­ons.

The Hop­pers balanced their scor­ing load with Zoe Ras­mussen scor­ing 16 goals and So­phie Holm­berg nail­ing 17 shots.

“It doesn’t mat­ter where you fin­ish, Moyhu proved that, they made us work hard and full credit to them for a mas­sive fi­nals,” Mi­lawa’s B re­serve coach Kim Miche­lini said.

“We knew we had to dig deep on Satur­day, we knew

(left) Mi­lawa Demons' B re­serve pre­mier­ship team com­pris­ing (from left, back) So­phie Colin, La­cie Evans, Emily Houri­gan, Kerri and Kim Miche­lini; (front) Chloe Cav­ic­chi­olo, Su­san Bennett, Noei Brock­hoff, Gemma Gaul.

AT RIGHT: Gemma Gaul was named best on court for her game on Satur­day. PHOTOS: Marc Bongers

BY CAM POT­TER cpot­ter@ ne­me­dia.com.au

UN­DE­FEATED - that is how Mi­lawa Demons’ B re­serve side can look back on the grand fi­nal against Moyhu and the sea­son in 2017.

But the Demons will also re­mem­ber the tremen­dous pres­sure the Hop­pers put on them in the first half and the hard work Mi­lawa needed to put in to reach the ul­ti­mate goal in the nine-goal, 42-33 win on Satur­day.

It was the B re­serve Demons’ fifth straight grand fi­nal and hav­ing lost the pre­vi­ous two fi­nals, they weren’t about to let this op­por­tu­nity go.

The Hop­pers jumped out of the sheds, go­ing hell for leather early and with the de­fen­sive duo of Kim Saun­ders and Michelle Graf rat­tling De­mon shoot­ers Kim and Kerri Miche­lini early, Moyhu gained the early lead.

The quar­ter time siren came at the wrong time for the Hop­pers, as their mo­men­tum halted and it al­lowed the Demons back into the match.

The mix of ex­pe­ri­ence and youth in Mi­lawa’s team re­ally stood tall as they got

BY CAM POT­TER cpot­ter@ ne­me­dia.com.au

A DOMINIANT show­ing from vet­eran Mi­lawa shooter Rhonda Bennett led the Demons to vic­tory by six goals over Greta in the B grade grand fi­nal at the WJ Find­lay Oval on Satur­day.

The match started at fever pitch with both sides seem­ingly set­tled into their rhythm early, en­ter­tain­ing the grow­ing crowd with quick play, awe­some de­fen­sive pres­sure and ac­cu­rate shoot­ing.

Mi­lawa took a nar­row one-goal lead at the first change, but it was well and truly any­one’s game.

Greta’s A grade coach Lind­sey Humphries started on fire for the Blues shoot­ing eight goals from eight at­tempts to keep her side in the hunt.

Mi­lawa’s mid­court took a hit with coach Rachael Llewellyn leav­ing the court with what ap­peared to be a jarred knee and took no fur­ther play­ing part in the match.

The in­ten­sity lifted to a truly fe­ro­cious speed in the

only learn from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“They smashed it; I was so proud of both of them,” she said.

“They have both come up from the un­der 17s and haven’t had a lot of ex­po­sure to play­ing against se­nior ladies and it takes a while to ad­just.

“They played well, it was a great win.”

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