HDFNL 17-and-under representative joint coach Jayde Ilsley has praised her players for 'keeping a cool-head' after they emerged victorious at Sunday's Golden City Netball Association tournament.
Ilsley, who coached the team in tandem with North Bendigo A-grade coach Ellena Findlay, said the team, which was playing together for the first time, had continued to develop throughout the day, and was playing undoubtedly their best netball at the end of the tournament.
The HDFNL defeated Ballarat 17-10 in their final, making amends for an earlier qualifying round loss.
It was the HDFNL's sole loss for the day, after winning five matches and drawing two ahead of a hard-fought semi-final win over Wimmera.
Ilsley said it was a big achievement and an exciting day for the team, which will next play in a tournament in Echuca ahead of the Association Championships in Melbourne in June.
"We lost to Ballarat the first time around by about six (goals)," said Ilsley, who credited getting their combinations right for the turnaround in the final.
"That and the girls' having a level-head. They did it all, they really kept their composure and kept calm and managed to pull out the win.
"They are an incredible bunch of girls to coach - all of them. They are so care-free. I think that's definitely what got them there in the end, they were so calm about it."
The HDFNL had standout performers in all parts of the court, with Mount Pleasant's Maeve Tupper pushing through the pain barrier to be a dominant force in the midcourt, Elmore's Abbey Hromenko skilful and accurate at goal attack, and Mount Pleasant's Ivy Harrop crucial at goal defence.
Ilsley, who coaches Lockington Bamawm United's 17-and-under team, said the team was now looking forward to getting a chance to play the state's best team at Association Championships.
In other finals, Ballarat defeated Wimmera 10-4 in the 15-and-under decider, with Ballarat also crowned 13-and-under champions after an 11-3 win over Ballarat.
The HDFL team comprised Abbey Hromenko (Elmore), Sarah Jones (Lockington Bamawm United), Ivy Harrop (Mount Pleasant), Ella Kerlin (Colbinabbin), Sophie McLean (Elmore), Dominique Palmer (Colbinabbin), Kira Niven (Elmore), Ellah Gelletly (Leitchville-Gunbower), Grace Hinks (Lockington Bamawm United) and Maeve Tupper (Mount Pleasant).
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.