WOORNDOO Mortlake’s C grade netball team turned years of pain into glory with a thrilling three goal victory in their Mininera and District grand final last Saturday.
The Tigers, who had lost the past three deciders to Glenthompson Dunkeld and Tatyoon respectively, finally tasted success with a 21-18 win over Penshurst at Lake Bolac.
Victorious coach Shona McGuigan said the win was a great result for all of her players, who had dealt with the pain of losing for the past three years.
She said the triumph was made even sweeter by the fact a number of the players also overcame their own personal battles to feature on the league’s biggest stage.
“It would have been depressing to lose a fourth one so the girls are really stoked with it all,” she said.
“I think because a lot of them played in the last three, they are just so happy that they pushed themselves so far this year.
“They’ve really pulled themselves through and they are really pleased to have got so far and pulled the win through.”
The game was a tale of two halves on the scoreboard, with the Tigers dominating the contest early.
They opened with a 9-3 first quarter before a strong 6-3 second term saw the Tigers enter the main break nine goals ahead.
However, as the game wore on, McGuigan’s players fatigued, with the Bombers controlling terms in the second half.
The chipped away at Woorndoo Mortlake’s lead through the third term, outscoring the Tigers 6-3 to reduce the margin to six goals at the last change.
Penshurst continued to push hard at Woorndoo Mortlake’s advantage in the final term and got within two goals of the lead before the Tigers steadied to end their recent hoodoo.
McGuigan said she started her best seven and rotated her squad because of the heat, which helped her side get off to a strong start.
“The first half was pretty comfortable but the second half was pretty tense to watch,” she said.
“It got within two goals there at one stage but we got a couple of goals in the last minute there that helped us get over the line.”
Tigers’ goal defence Erin McGuigan and centre Simone Gordon were named the best players, with the former also receiving the best on court medal.
“They both played full games so it was pleasing they ran it out in the heat,” McGuigan said.