Bombers pre­miers

The U17 girls claim back-to-back pre­mier­ships, de­feat­ing King Val­ley in an in­tense match

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PHO­TOS: Cam Pot­ter

BEST OF THE BEST: Cap­tain Mia Tan­ner scored both 27 goals and the best on court for the match.

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