DRIVING rain and hail, and blustery winds are no netballer’s concept of ideal conditions, particularly if you happen to be a goal shooter.
But if those adverse weather conditions were meant to curtail performance on Saturday, nobody sent Bridgewater’s Olivia Treloar the memo.
The Mean Machine’s star young sharpshooter made a mockery of the atrocious conditions at Bridgewater, to deliver an outstanding best on court display in her club’s first A-grade premiership since 2011.
Treloar, who shared a LVFNL B-grade best and fairest award win with Mitiamo midcourter Amelia Ludeman in 2015, has steadily become a force to be reckoned with at A-grade level with her precise shooting and formidable presence in the goal circle.
Earlier this season she earned inter-league selection in the LVFNL team, which defeated Golden Rivers at the Queen Elizabeth Oval, and this month polled eight votes in the Helen Ward Medal league best and fairest count, won by team-mate Jessey Wilson.
Her eight votes contributed to a league-high total of 64 from her Mean Machine team-mates.
Had votes been allocated during the finals series, Treloar might well have earned them in her team’s semi-final win against Newbridge and preliminary final win over Mitiamo, and most certainly would have polled three in Saturday’s win against Calivil United.
Her own coach Claudia Powell described Treloar’s game as “amazing, especially in the last quarter,” while rival coach Karen Pascoe branded her a difference-maker.
“She shot beautifully – as you saw with our goalers and with the weather conditions it wasn’t easy,” Pascoe said.
“But Olivia was very composed and shot beautifully through the whole game.
“She really deserves that medal.”
Treloar was at the peak of her powers when it counted most, scoring eight of her game-high 29 goals in the first quarter to help the Mean Machine to a six goal quarter lead, and 10 in the final quarter after the Demons had pulled within three goals at the final change of end.
She was the only player on either side to score double figures in any quarter of the grand final.
For her part, a humble Treloar was just pleased to have played her role in a special premiership win, alongside a great bunch of friends, and against a much-respected rival.
“It was horrible conditions at the start, but the sun came out right at the end, which was good timing – better late than never,” she said.
“I was getting a bit worried there for a while when they came back, but somehow in that last quarter we kept going and were able to finish it off.
“We knew they would be tough; we did manage to beat them in the first two games this season, but they really came out firing in our first final and played an amazing game.
“We only lost that final by three (goals), which made us that even more determined to give it another huge crack today.”
Treloar was adamant the qualifying loss to the Demons had been a driving factor in Saturday’s premiership.
“It really gave us motivation and kicked our butts into gear,” she said.
“There was a sense ‘we could actually be out of finals’, so when we played (in the next two finals) we fought extra hard to get back here (on grand final day).
“Calivil United did an amazing job to beat Mitiamo to get straight into the grand final and really had a great season.”
The now premiership player said she had tried to keep her grand final preparation as low key as possible.
“I just tried to keep it like every other week and not to think about it too much, but of course there is always going to be nerves coming into a grand final,” Treloar said.
She praised first-year coach Claudia Powell as a ‘great inclusion’ and ‘great asset’ to the club.