Sandhurst's young guns stand tall in BFNL 17-and-under grand final

SANDHURST has capped a fairytale finals run to claim the BFNL 17-and-under netball premiership for 2017 against Maryborough.

The Dragons had to survive three tough finals just to make the grand final after finishing the minor round in fifth place.

But their premiership was never in doubt following an emphatic 15-7 second quarter burst, which delivered the Dragons a 27-16 half-time lead.

The young Dragons were able to replicate their efforts of the second quarter in the third, with another 15-7 term, before eventually running out winners 53-32.

Sandhurst stalwart Jannaya Webb, who coached the team alongside joint coach Laura Parkhill, said the pair had always believed they were capable of big things if the team scraped into finals.

“We always thought the versatility in our team could get us through,” she said.

“We never played the other teams in the finals at full-strength, with (player) unavailability and injuries.

“We had Ruby Turner goal shooting all season and then we changed her into defence.

“That versatility between her and Piper (Dunlop) has been fantastic for us.”

Webb praised the effort of defender Rebecca Eade, who was named best on court.

Eade, who split time playing for Sandhurst’s 17-and-under and Lockington-Bamawm United’s A-grade teams proved an outstanding leader on grand final day along with skipper Keeley Jones.

“It was so rewarding for Bec, she dislocated her shoulder last week,” she said.

“For her to push through the pain was sensational.”

The Dragons’ vice-captain was one of only two top-age players in the line-up on Saturday, which suggests their run of success might only be getting started.

“We lose Ebony Bayliss as well, who is another defender, but that opens up two positions for someone else,” Webb said.

“But I believe with the versatility we’ve got, the two (players) who come in will be unlikely to fill those positions any way.”

Despite falling short on grand final day, Maryborough coaches Chloe Egan and Jordan Macilwain said they were proud of what their side had achieved this season.

“To make a major league grand final from a little town like Maryborough – what do you say,” Egan said.