MARYBOROUGH’S joint 17-and-under coaches Chloe Egan and Jordan Macilwain say nothing could stop them feeling proud about what their girls have achieved this season, despite their grand final loss.
The young Magpies fell 32-53 to a rampant Sandhurst, which capped a dramatic finals series to come from fifth to first.
Egan and Macilwain, who are A-grade teammates, said their girls had done their club and town proud in becoming the first Maryborough team to reach a grand final since 2010.
“To make a major league grand final from a little town like Maryborough – what do you say,” Egan said.
“That’s just amazing.”
“They’ve got to understand there are so many teams without a grand final medal around their neck – we couldn’t have asked for anything more from them,” said Macilwain.
The Magpies, who finished the home and away season in third, advanced to the grand final with wins over second-placed Kangaroo Flat and top-placed Golden Square.
They were well-led on grand final day by skipper Ella Tranter, who was both coaches choice as their side’s best player against the Dragons.
“Ella played an immense game and role in that centre position,” Egan said.
“She continually chased and tipped balls and was vocal the whole time.
“We couldn’t have asked anything more from a captain.
“Credit too to Sandhurst, they were strong.
“It would have been hard to pick a best on court from that team because they played as one cohesive unit.
“They were so solid across the court.”
The weekend was not without its success for some of the Magpies players, who won a basketball grand final in Melbourne late Friday night.
Saturday’s game was the last at junior level for a handful of Magpies, but Macilwain was confident most – if not all – would continue to play on at Maryborough.
Rival coach Jannaya Webb said the performance of the Magpies’ 17-and-under team pointed to a bright future for the club.
“They have got a great, talented bunch of players – I’m not sure how many are top-age.” she said.
“Even still they will progress through to their higher grades and we look forward to having some good competition in the future.”
Five of Saturday’s grand final team – Ella and Maggie Tranter, Keely Hare, Brandy Santon and Tori Chandler – represented Maryborough in A-grade this season.
A further two players will represent North Central at the Netball Victoria State Titles next month, with Hare set to line-up in the 17-and-under team and Bella Westbrook chosen in the 15-and-under team.