With 6 teams lining up for the last game of the year, there was a lot of tension in the air.
The 9.45am time slot saw 17/1’s on court 1 and 13/1’s on court 2. There was a huge crowd there in blue and blue ready to get behind the girls.
Our 17/1’s knew this would be a tough today after a big loss to Queenscliff in the qualifying final, the sting of that loss would be brought to the court and help the girls get over the line.
We were 3 down at the ¼ time break, and half time was the same so they were on the right track. Third quarter Queenscliff got a run and finished that quarter with an 11 point lead. With Issey Armstrong moved from goals to defence, the team changed up and the chase was on. They unfortunately ran out of time, but to bring it back to a 4 point deficit was an incredible achievement for these girls, a hard fought game ending in a score of 33-37. Our U13’s went into the game against Drysdale missing one of their tall goalers, Alex, but by half time they were 5 goals up. Third quarter saw Drysdale score 10 goals to our 3, so they snatched the lead by three, and our girls fought hard for the last but the win slipped away with Drysdale taking the Premiership by 7 goals, 21-28.
The Under 19’s were up next, with 4 girls from U17’s lining up straight after their loss, drawing in big breaths to get their minds focussed on the new game. Ammos had taken the win every time we faced them this year, so we knew we had to fight all the way. End of the first quarter we were 2 up, and feeling we could do it. A quick change in the centre with fresh legs but we finished half time 1 goal down. There were many turnovers during the game as both teams defensive pressure was strong. Ella, Eloise and Tahlia leaving Ammos girls no space, but Ammos accuracy got them through. We struggled to convert our opportunities and only scored 3 goals in the second half, going down by 6 in an incredibly low scoring Grand Final 10-16.
U15/1’s were next up, against Portarlington. Having taken a win each during the season, anything was possible. Port came out firing and at the first break we were 5 down. This didn’t deter our girls and they continued to play hard, but Port increased their lead by 1, to be up by 6 at the half time break. We matched them in the third to keep the gap still at 6, but couldn’t seem to break past that. Hero kept a calm head in the goals, but we still break away from 6 down. The first quarter made the chase hard, but the girls ran their hearts out, unfortunately being defeated 30-36.
B Grade was our 2ndlast chance for a Premiership. The support base had grown and the crowd was loud. We only had one interchange, so knew it was going to be tough, as Ammos are always fierce competitors. The closest we had come to a win against them this year was our 3 goal loss in the semi-final. We began with the same line up as last week when we snatched a 5 point win against Torquay. The ball moved around quickly with both teams hungry for a win. At the first break we were 3 down, but still focused to get back on and fight. Ammos increased their lead to 6 by the half time break, but we felt we were absolutely still in the game. End of the third and the gap was back to 3, Molly Babb took a fall and her game was over for the day, with Sophie Brand moving in to take her place in the goals. We managed to get within 2 goals, but we didn’t make the most of our turnovers, with Ammos taking the win by 8. A devastating third Grand Final loss for our B Grade girls.
All our hopes were pinned on our last game of the day, E Grade that had only taken one loss for the season, in round 4 and a draw against Ocean Grove in round 17. After a week off playing, they had trained hard during their break and were looking confident. The senior footy had just begun as our starting siren went, so every Barwon Heads supporter held their breath and hoped to finish the day strong after a devastatingly unsuccessful day so far.
Kansas had co-coached earlier in the day, and as a playing coach, had great support on her bench to help keep everything on track.
Two weeks ago we had faced Ocean Grove in the Semi, in a close game, but took the win by 4, so this was fresh in both team’s minds. At the first break it was 6 each, but by half time our girls were rising to the challenge, only letting Grove shoot one goal for the quarter, to make it a lead to us by 8. The mood around the court had finally lifted, our lead at ¾ time was 9. New player to Barwon Heads this year, Nakeya Mountjoy shooting an impressive 20 from 23 goals, and finally a cup was ours. An amazing 10 point win to these girls 28-18. To top off the win, one of the determined mid courters took out the best in Finals Medal, another great season for Ash Williams.
Kylie Rawson (Netball President)