The U17 girls claim back-to-back premierships, defeating King Valley in an intense match
AFTER defeating King Valley twice in the home and away season, Bonnie Doon knew it would be a hard slog to retain their title as reigning premiers – but they did it.
Backed by an enormous black and red army Bonnie Doon struck the first blow of the game, with captain Mia Tanner snking the first goal from long range to settle her team early.
In an exciting C grade clash and with the game played at a frenetic pace, both sides took half a quarter to settle.
Bonnie Doon found its rhythm, and the Bombers began pulling away from King Valley – who were fumbling in their attack, and unable to capitalise on the scoreboard.
The down the court pressure was excellent from both teams and made it difficult for the shooters to score. King Valley’s defenders started the game on fire, but the experience and talent of Bonnie Doon captain and A grade debutant Mia Tanner shone through and the Bombers went into the first break with a narrow 10-7 lead.
Vice-captain Faith Howland and Angel Graham were outstanding in the back line, and were a constant thorn in King Valley’s side.
Howland had the tough task of keeping the Roos captain quiet, and she did just that by protecting the post and laying her body on the line.
The second term started in similar manner to the first with the pace high and the pressure even higher.
It was in the second term where the crowds for both the Roos and Bombers, notorious for their vocal crowds, found voice and came to life.
It added to the atmosphere of the game, and to the intensity of which the game was played on the court.
King Valley’s goal keeper Erin Matheson was regularly getting her hands to the ball before the Bombers’ shooters but the sheer number of balls going into Bonnie Doon’s goal circle overwhelmed the Roos, meaning that Tanner still found a way to score.
In conjunction with Genevieve Bush, Tanner stood tall to lead the Bombers to a 24-17 half time lead.
Bomberette mid-courters Milli Howland and Bridgette Fox showed why they have been a well-oiled machine for the entire season, giving the Valley defenders few opportunities and threading the needle on almost every attacking possession.
Fox has been a strong player for Doon for several seasons now, making the long trek back from school each week to play alongside her friends.
Bonnie Doon pushed its case throughout the third term, sling-ing together a four-goal start to the second half and springing out to an 11-goal lead. Gen Bush stepped up in a big way for the Bombers, grabbing a number of critical rebounds in the attacking circle. The Roos landed four goals in a row to begin the final term and the Bombers' lead was cut to four. The crowd and game reached fever pitch in intensity. A key intercept by Mia Tan-ner in the middle-third as a goal attack effectively sealed the deal as the Bombers went down the court to score, after four tense minutes without a score. The ever consistent and settled Gen Bush came into her own in the final quarter as well, shooting the last three goals of the match and delivering the final nail in the coffin to secure the deal for the Bombers. The Bombers won the game 46-39, with Mia Tanner named best on court for the winning side. Bonnie Doon's coach Michelle Tanner said it was a relief to secure back-to-back premierships. "They absolutely played their hearts out," 'Palmer said. "I couldn't have asked for a better team effort." The Bombers' defensive slur of Angel Graham and Faith Howland performed admirably "They both played really well; it's a new combination this year and they have come si far," Tanner said. "They came together so well for the final." Gen Bush received praise from Tanner for her game as well, after her stellar perfor-mance on the court. "Gen is just so settled and played a really good game for us," she said. "Her rebounding was a highlight of her game (on Saturday)."
PROUD: (From left) vice-captain Faith Howland and captain Mia Tanner holding the trophy with pride, as they lead the C Grade into another premiership victory.
BEST OF THE BEST: Captain Mia Tanner scored both 27 goals and the best on court for the match.