White Hills claim a trio of premierships

A NARROW three-goal grand final loss could not take the gloss of what has been a remarkable season of netball for White Hills.

The Demons still ended Saturday with three senior premierships alongside their name, following triumphs in the A-reserve, B-grade and B-reserve premiership deciders.

A-grade coach Nadine Anderson said the club had set itself lofty ambitions in each of the past two seasons and achieved them.

“Our goal two years ago was to have all our teams in the grand finals and that did happen the first year and it was a bit of a shock to repeat that,” Anderson said.

“This year we have gone one better with three premierships out of the four – last year we had two out of the four.

“We’ll just keep working on that goal .”

The Demons’ emphatic 72-24  A-reserve victory was powered by a standout goal shooting performance from Rosie Close, a cousin to star A-grade goal keeper and league best and fairest runner-up Anna-Grace.

Close slotted a cool 14 goals in the opening quarter, to help the Demons to a 19-6 lead over Mount Pleasant.

The Blues did not get any closer, with a class line-up featuring former South Bendigo A-grade midcourter Sarah Nash, centre Eden Furness and defenders Janene Cass and Emily Gloury helping put the seal on a remarkable undefeated season.

Close, who joined the club this season for Horsham District league club Harrow-Balmoral, said it was an awesome team performance.

“We killed it all year and really made it count on the day,” she said.

“There were a lot of nerves coming into it, being undefeated.

“It’s been unreal having four sides in grand finals.”

Goal attack Jessica Sawyer was the star of the Demons’ 54-19 B-grade win against North Bendigo and finished the game with 35 goals.

Her haul included 12 in a team third quarter total of 15.

Coach Cherie Walker said she was confident of success heading into the game, with the Demons aiming to preserve their unbeaten status.

“I knew the girls had the potential to do this all season – they’re a great bunch of girls and an awesome team,” she said.

“It’s back-to-back for me and a few of the girls and for a few of the girls who are new to the club it’s their first.

“And we also have some girls retiring after very decorated careers.

“Lisa Argus played her 350th game at our club this year and that was her last.”

Walker praised the four-quarter efforts of accurate goaler Sawyer.

“She played a blinder, but I wouldn’t have liked being the umpires having to pick the best on court, there were a lot of girls who just gave it their all throughout the game,” she said.

“As a club we are just going from strength-to-strength.

“We’ve worked really hard at our club culture for many years – it’s a great club to be part of.”

Another newcomer to the club, Madeleine Harrison was best-on-court in the Demons’ 47-37 B-reserve flag win over Mount Pleasant.