AN OUTSTANDING second half performance against Bridgewater has landed Newbridge a spot in this year's LVFNL grand final.
The Maroons fended off a strong first-half challenge from the Maroons to win their preliminary final contest at Inglewood 60-36.
Newbridge led by just three goals at half time, but broke the game open in the third quarter with a 17-9 run.
The Maroons continued to gather momentum ahead of next weekend's premiership showdown against Mitiamo with a 20-7 final quarter, to set up their first grand final appearance since their drought-breaking 2016 flag win.
Coach and goal shooter Jane Reid was in outstanding form for Newbridge, with her 30 second-half goals among 51 for the game.
An ecstatic Reid, who will lead her team to a grand final in her first season as coach, was quick to praise her defence, which was brilliantly led by Megan Jennings and Tracey O'Donnell, and the midcourt pairing of Rachel Pettifer and Tameka Branch, in the win.
"It wasn't easy, Bridgewater's midcourt put plenty of pressure on us coming down the court, but we were able to get some good intercepts in our defence end and work it down slowly," she said.
"We were able to adjust our pace and patience coming down the court in the second half.
"We knew we needed to stop rushing things and it seemed to work.
"I feel a really strong third quarter just gave us confidence to run out the game."
After finishing the regular season in third spot and losing their first final, Reid felt the Maroons had 'exceeded expectations', but also set themselves up nicely for a crack at the Superoos.
Mitiamo won the teams' qualifying final by 18 goals, as well as both minor round matches.
"I am really proud of the girls with what they have been able to do the last two weeks; we had a really good strong four quarters both weeks," Reid said.
"As much as it is long road to the grand final when you play finals every week, I think it does help just taking each week as it comes."
A 24-goal loss, on top of a 37-goal defeat the previous week against Mitiamo, combined for a disappointing end to a season full of promise for the Mean Machine.
The reigning premiers lost their last three matches of the season by an average of 24 goals, after going undefeated through the first 15 matches.
Wing defence Anita Dorrington, centre Jessey Wilson and goal shooter Carly Scholes (25 goals) were the Mean Machine's best for the day.
Their chances were not enhanced by a fall and injury to 2018 league best and fairest Wilson, who left the court during the third quarter, but returned in the last.
It was the second time in consecutive years the minor premier has exited the finals race in straight-sets following a final round bye, after Mitiamo did likewise in 2018.
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