FOR someone still only 19, it’s been a long road to becoming a dual premiership player for Imogen Sexton.
The silky-smooth Sandhurst goal defence certainly knows plenty about the highs and lows of sport.
She had to fight back from a pair of ACL injuries in the years before to be a part of the Dragons’ breakout 2017 premiership success against Golden Square.
While she did miss parts of the first half of the 2018 season with various commitments, there was a much smoother path this time round, when on Saturday Sexton and plenty of her team-mates went back-to-back against Gisborne.
The unflappable defender was pivotal to the win and as it turned out the main rival to her captain and midcourt star Meg Williams as the judges’ choice as best on court.
In the end it took a panel of umpires to split the 19-year-old pair.
Not that Sexton was worried in the slightest. She was excited for Williams to win the award for a second BFNL grand final in a row and even happier to have just done her job in helping the Dragons to a win.
“I was pretty happy with my game, but you just try and do your role in the team – that’s all I was trying to do when I stepped onto the court today (Saturday),” she said.
“It’s really a team effort and that’s what gets this team over the line often.”
The victory was not without more than a few anxious moments, after the Bulldogs came from nine goals down at three quarter time to claim the lead in the final quarter and eventually force the premiership decider into extra time.
The Dragons eventually won 53-47.
It’s really a team effort and that’s what gets this team over the line often.Imogen Sexton
Interviewed only minutes after accepting her second A-grade premiership medallion, Sexton admitted she was ‘still shaking and in shock’.
“I couldn’t be happier right now, but all credit to Gisborne, it was such an intense game and the most amazing game,” she said.
“It was a really solid game across all four quarters and to have to go into overtime and push through, I’m on cloud nine.
“You have to try and stay composed, but you could see Gisborne slowly gaining momentum – but it’s a never say die attitude.
“When we felt them getting closer we knew we had to step it up to the next level and that’s what we did.
“There’s a lot of trust between our group and that really shows on the court.”
Sexton’s impact on the contest did not go unnoticed by anyone at the Queen Elizabeth Oval courts, in particular her opponents.
Rival coach Kim Bailey went as far to brand her the ‘difference’ between the two sides.
“She had an absolutely magnificent game – she ran her own lines and took some beautiful intercepts – to me she was just amazing,” she said.
The premiership was the second of two in a month for Sexton, who was part of City West Falcons’ Victorian Netball League championship-winning team, which defeated Geelong Cougars 56-48 earlier in the month.
“It was my first year of VNL, it was an amazing experience,” she said.
“I learnt so much, which is a credit to my coaches down there in Melbourne, as well as Tam and Ollie at Sandhurst.
“It’s been a great development year.”
“I’ve had a good couple of years, but it definitely doesn’t make winning a premiership or grand final for granted.
“It’s something really special.”