KANGAROO Flat has produced a stunning reversal of form against Sandhurst to win a BFNL A-reserve premiership.
The Roos were soundly beaten by the Dragons by 18 goals in their semi-final clash a fortnight ago, but found plenty of form on grand final day to win 53-35.
They were coached to victory by Jayden Cowling, who made it two flags in two years after leading the club to a B-grade premiership last season.
Cowling conceded his side had been badly outplayed by the Dragons last time and credited the turnaround to simple hard work.
“We had a great couple of weeks at training – played a few practice matches,” he said.
“We really came out firing last week against Eaglehawk in the prelim and then worked hard again during the week.”
The Roos benefited from a strong second-half performance from goal shooter Adrienne Murphy, big games from goal defence Bronte Miller and Julia Clarke, and the usual polished performance from class midcourter and captain Karly Elvey.
Cowling said having a player in the team with the experience of Elvey, who captained the Roos to an A-grade premiership last season and has won five in total, rubbed off on everyone.
“She’s not only been great for the team, but also myself,” Cowling said.
“I have learned a lot off her – she’s a great leader.”
Sandhurst’s Gabriella Greene was voted best on court for an excellent game in tricky conditions for goal shooters.
The A-reserve flag win was one of two for Kangaroo Flat on Saturday.
The Roos survived a thrilling contest to defeat Golden Square 36-33 in B-reserve.
They trailed at every break, including by five goals at quarter time and four at three quarter time, but rallied to win by three goals with a 12-5 final term.
Young goal shooter Abbey Grindal was instrumental in the win and was voted best on court.
Like Sandhurst in the earlier 17-and-under game, Kangaroo Flat came from fifth place to win the premiership.
Remarkably the Roos had not beaten Golden Square this season before Saturday, and neither had they defeated their elimination final opponent Eaglehawk or semi-final opponent Strathfieldsaye during the home and away season.
They did, however, draw two games with the Hawks.
Coach Nina Cass said her side had shown great perseverance during the finals.
“To come out and win week after week under a lot of pressure and beat teams we hadn’t beaten through the season is a real credit to how the girls have improved during the season,” she said.
“They had nothing to lose today, so it was really good to see some reward.”
“We used a lot of players during the season, but today we had 10 contributors.”
Grindal was one of the success stories of grand final day, and capped a remarkable rise from back-up goaler to match-winner.
The youngster has spent the bulk of this season in the Roos’ development team, which plays in the Bendigo Strathdale Netball Association, and occasional games in the 17-and-under team.
“She was enormous for us and just gave us a different look - we were getting a little congested in the goal circle,” Cass said.
“She’s definitely a Kangaroo Flat girl to watch.”