A GRUELLING schedule of matches, played in searing heat on Monday, proved no obstacle to championship success for the Bendigo Braves under-14 division two team at its hometown Bendigo Junior Classic.
The team - coached by Ben Caruana - had to negotiate a series of four tough matches on the final day of the annual three-day tournament, played over the Australia Day long weekend.
Their 27-21 grand final victory over YM Lakers Clark capped an undefeated tournament for the young Braves, who won all five of their Pool A qualifying round matches, plus three finals.
Max Connick led the way for the Braves in the grand final with a team-high eight points.
Connick also contributed an equal team-high five points, alongside Nicholas Harvey, in the Braves' 22-16 semi-final win against Sunbury Jets.
A hectic Monday started with a convincing 48-9 win over Bacchus March, highlighted by all 10 players hitting the scoresheet, followed by a tough 27-22 quarter final victory over Warrnambool Seahawks White at St Liborius.
In a remarkable display of toughness and durability, the Braves' four Monday games were played at two venues, across a nine-hour period, from 8am onwards.
The division two under-14s was one of two Braves teams to notch grand final wins.
They were joined by the club's third-tier under-18 team, which also won a division two title.
The Braves' under-12 girls reached the grand final in division one, but finished runners-up to Wodonga Wolves following a 9-16 loss.
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