Mitiamo celebrates A-grade netball premiership   

Mitiamo won its first A-grade title since 2005 with a stunning upset of YCW in the Loddon Valley Netball Association grand final at Inglewood on Saturday.

The Superoos led from start to finish in the 47-39 triumph, which exacted some revenge for three grand final losses to the Eagles from 2008 to 2010.

For YCW it was a heartbreaking season finale for the second year in a row.

In 2011, the Eagles’ only loss for the season came in the grand final, while Saturday’s game was only YCW’s second defeat this year.

But for the victors there were jubilant celebrations after netting the club’s first A-grade flag since 2005.

Mitiamo coach Jen Morrison said the premiership was made more special because it was unexpected.

“It was big, we have such a young side with a couple of kids up out of the under-17s from last year, so we actually – at the start of the year – thought it was going to be a rebuilding year,” Morrison said.

“So to actually come away with the win it’s just awesome.”

The Superoos set up the victory by jumping out of the blocks in the opening term, scoring six unanswered goals before YCW settled.

Miti dominated through the mid-court, with best on court Amelia Ludeman in centre, wing defence Tamara Grant and wing attack Sarah Ludeman feeding in-form goalers Laura Spence and Stella Calder.

The Superoos led by eight goals late in the term, before YCW playing-coach Christie Griffiths made it 15-9 by quarter-time.

Playing in wing attack, Griffiths’ link up play with centre Jessica Moroni and wing defence Bree Bentley was a major reason why the Eagles worked their way back into the match in the second quarter.

YCW goal attack Jamie Lee Clohesy started the quarter brilliantly and shooter Cara Bastian worked her way into the game as the Eagles reduced the deficit to 25-22 at half-time.

YCW scored the opening two goals of the second half and the heat was on.

However, league best and fairest Spence showed her class to keep Mitiamo ahead 34-30 at the last change.

It looked as though a thrilling final term was in store for the big crowd, but Mitiamo proved far too good when the game was on the line.

YCW had the first centre pass, but Mitiamo scored the first three goals to open a matchwinning lead.

Mitiamo had complete control across the court and held a 10-goal advantage before the Eagles scored the last two goals of the game and the season.

Morrison said the fast start helped her team’s self-belief it could beat YCW – which it had drawn with and lost to in two previous clashes this year.

“We’ve had terrible first quarters all year, so to come out like that… we did it last week against Pyramid (Hill) and it was our aim to do it again and not play catch up netball for once and it paid off,” she said.

Disappointed to go down in another grand final, Griffiths said her team wasn’t able to recover from Mitiamo’s lightning start.

“Unfortunately, they just wanted it more today.

“We started off slow and just couldn’t make it back into the contest,” she said.

“We just weren’t good enough, but we’ll come back next year – third time lucky.”

In Saturday’s other grand finals, YCW defeated Mitiamo 46-38 in the B-grade final, with the Eagles’ Alex Lacy named best on court.

In the C-grade decider Bears-Lagoon Serpentine, which was third at the end of the home-and-away series, scored a 37-34 victory against YCW, which finished on top after 18 rounds.

 Bears’ goalkeeper Tania Twigg was named best-on-court in the grand final.

Mitiamo’s A-grade coach Jen Morrison was best on court in the C-reserve decider, which the Superoos won 43-40 against  Inglewood.

Pyramid Hill’s 17-and-under team was too strong for Marong, 51-43.

Zoe Kennedy was best for the red, whie and blue.

YCW thrashed Mitiamo 50-29 in the 15-under final, with goaler Stephanie Donnellon named best on court to cap a fine season with the Eagles.  

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