MITIAMO has returned to the summit of Loddon Valley league netball, after securing their first premiership since 2012 with a seven-goal win over Newbridge on Saturday.
The Superoos withstood a spirited challenge from the underdog Maroons to win their premiership showdown at Calivil 58-51.
They were made to earn it, with Newbridge claiming the early ascendancy to lead 14-8 at quarter time on the back of 10 goals from Maroons coach Jane Reid.
Mitiamo was able to reduce the margin to three goals at quarter time, with Superoos goal shooter Lucy Morcom answering with 10 second-quarter goals of her own.
Reminiscent of their minor round season in which they won nine-straight games heading into finals, the Superoos got stronger as the grand final wore on.
A 17-9 third quarter gave the Superoos the momentum they needed to get on top of the Maroons, who were unable to bridge the gap and score what would have been their second premiership in four seasons after a drought-breaking victory over the Superoos in 2016.
Three-time league best and fairest Laura Hicks was named best on court following a standout performance at goal attack.
The Superoos skipper was particularly lethal in the second half with contributions of eight goals (third quarter) and 10, giving her 28 for the match.
Her goal shooting partner Morcom finished with 30 in another high-calibre performance.
Victorious Superoos coach Kylie Piercy praised both a bold early challenge from Newbridge and a resilient performance from her own side.
"That first half, Newbridge just never let-up - they actually played a game similar to what we play in the first half," she said.
"We made some changes and we were able to regroup and we got our stuff together.
"In my mind there wasn't one girl, who stood out, they all pulled together well. It was a real team effort.
"It's very surreal at the moment - I'm sure I'll get a good chance to reflect in the days ahead."
Piercy endorsed the choice of Hicks as best on court ahead of a quality field of candidates on both sides.
"The actual grand final meant a lot to her and Gabe (Marlow) in particular ... I'm chuffed and proud for both of them," she said.
It was an overdue triumph for Marlow, who had been involved in seven previous losing grand final efforts at A-grade level for Mitiamo, and missed their last flag win while sidelined with a knee injury.
The hard-working midcourter was also out of action with injury during the Superoos' 2018 campaign in which they finished third.
Mitiamo got other strong performances from experienced goal defence Bri Maddern and centre Amelia Ludeman.
Piercy, for whom the triumph was her first as an A-grade coach, pinpointed the first few games of the second round of home and away matches as the moment she believed she had a premiership-calibre team on her hands.
"We knew we had to take Lucy out of defence - our other goaler was going to be away the first two weeks of finals and we needed to settle our team," she said.
"Defenders don't shoot goals, so we put her in goals and it's worked a treat. The twin towers we call them.
"It was a good day for the club with A and B wins - I couldn't be prouder."
Maroons coach Jane Reid said she could not have been prouder of her side, after they left no stone unturned in pursuit of a premiership
"I don't think it was so much about what went wrong, I think Mitty pulled it together more than anything," she said.
"We had a really strong first half, particularly the first quarter. Maybe our drives could have been a bit stronger to give a few more options.
"Other than that, credit it to Mitty, they played a strong second half and it got them the win.
"To lose by 18 (in the qualifying final) two weeks ago and then get that close, I was very impressed with the girls.
"I knew we were better than that 18-goal loss. That first final, their first quarter blew us away a bit. To fight back from that was always going to battle.
"But we rectified that today (Saturday) and readjusted. The fact we were up quarter-time meant we had worked that out."
The Maroons got big games from wing defence Leah Dixon, goal keeper Tracy O'Donnell and midcourter Rachel Pettifer.
Reid, who led from the front with a game-high 30 goals, drew plenty of positives from her first season as A-grade coach, one in which they qualified for the grand final from third spot, and after losing their opening final.
"I've learned lots, particularly from the players," she said.
"Everyone brings their strengths to the team. As I said in my first interview (as coach), I'm not going to pretend to know it all.
"I knew that going into coaching, but I really wanted it to give it a crack and have a good season.
"The win would have been exactly what I would have wished for, but to get to a grand final has been an amazing season."
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