Sunday Territorian



AN enthrallin­g back and forth matchup saw Tracy Village take out the 2021 Darwin Netball Premier League grand final with a narrow 33-32 over a competitiv­e Waratah unit.

It was a typically seesawing encounter with the top two sides doing everything in their power to see their side over the line.

Falcons took the early lead, showing their pace and precision through centre court to give shooters Jordan Anderson and Mikaela Sawyer every opportunit­y.

However, they could never break free of Tahs, who responded with runs of their own as Peta Stephens and Sarrita King made crucial intercepts. But it was the work of defenders Ivana Schober and Georgia Luhrs that was perhaps most pivotal for the Falcons, with both grabbing critical turnovers.

It was still all to play for in the final quarter with the score level on multiple occasions.

But it was Falcons, with Dustie Tare in at the scoring end, who triumphed, with Waratah suffering the loss of Stephens late in the encounter.

“It was epic. We didn’t think we would get there as Waratahs are obviously a really strong team,” Falcons star Gemma Henderson said.

“They beat us in the prelim, so we knew they would be out to get us but we held on and that was amazing.”

Falcons coach Sharon Freeman was overjoyed, saying the game all came down to how much her girls wanted it in the final quarter.

“I’m so happy. I knew they had it in them and they just had to bring it,” Freeman said.

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