See Bombers fly up again

September 18, 2017

On the lead: Waaia's Abbi Costa makes a beeline for the ball.

What a week: Recently crowned Lukies Medallist Taylah Shanahan added a premiership and a best-on-court medal to her collection after a brilliant season.

On a string: Waaia's Emma McDonald takes the ball back to the centre, in front of Dookie United's Belinda Rankin.

Desperation: Waaia's Helen Plattfuss and Dookie United's Kayla Woodhouse dive on the ball late in the match.

A-grade premier, Waaia: (Back) Milly Foster, Helen Plattfuss, Amy Brooks, Abbi Costa, Blaise Mortimer, Laura Cahoon, Nikki Foster (coach), (front) Marni Hicks, Nicole Quinn, Taylah Shanahan and Emma McDonald.

After 26 years since its last premiership, Waaia held the A-grade Picola District Netball League trophy aloft again on Saturday.

Restored to their former glory, the Bombers capped off a fantastic season with a three-goal defeat of Dookie United.

Having lost only one game this season, Waaia was confident favourites heading into the decider.

But the minor premier was made to work for the first goal through Helen Plattfuss.

Bombers wing attack Emma McDonald dealt some pinpoint passing into the circle, as centre Taylah Shanahan made some crucial intercepts to help Waaia move four goals ahead at quarter-time.

Dookie needed to find more consistency and while at times it was laborious to pass into its circle, Laura Henderson began to finish off more ball in the second term.

Her shooting partner Sophie Harmer was fantastic during the match, constantly on the move and presenting as she top scored for her side.

United outscored Waaia in the second term with plenty of support from fans at Katandra Recreation Reserve spurring them on.

Halting the Bombers from scoring from the final centre pass of the quarter, United instead goaled to only trail 23-24 at the main-break.

Waaia coach Nikki Foster brought Abbi Costa into goal attack for the second half and the move was integral in her side taking control of the game.

As one of four players able to play in the shooting circle, Costa shot eight goals in the third term as Plattfuss netted 34 goals for the match.

United stayed with the Bombers, as every time the margin grew Jodie Fleming’s side pegged it back to a workable total.

Seven goals down heading into the last quarter, Dookie needed to make an impact early to be any chance.

With Foster pulling off Shanahan in order to put her full roster on the court, United took the momentum and scored seven goals in a row to come within one.

But they were never able to claim the crucial intercept that would bring them level, as Foster moved Shanahan back onto the court.

Foster was ecstatic her side was able to finish off the season with the premiership in her first season as an A-grade coach.

‘‘We’ve had a great year, I haven’t loved every moment of it, it’s been really tough and dropping Tungamah might have wrecked a perfect season,’’ she said.

‘‘But the girls just wanted it, they’re a brilliant bunch of girls and with the versatility and depth to get 10 players on in a grand final is just incredible.’’

Being a side used to coming from behind for the win, Foster said it was a welcome change to have a seven-goal lead at the final break.

‘‘For the first time in a long time we never chased, that was nice not to actually chase, but to have that buffer at three-quarter-time and go ‘you know what, we’re going to make changes’,’’ Foster said.

Lukies medallist Shanahan went head-to-head with Dookie United’s Belinda Rankin, who finished runner-up in the count.

To finish off a mammoth week, Shanahan, 22, claimed yet another medal after being named the grand final’s most valuable player.

Securing her first senior premiership in her inaugural season at the Bombers after switching from Shepparton, the midcourt star said she was loving her time in the PDNL.

‘‘I’m just so glad we got over the line and I finally got a premiership, I’m so glad we did it with a great bunch of girls,’’ Shanahan said.

‘‘Thanks to the club for welcoming me so much and my family, they’ve been so supportive with my change (from the GVL to the PDNL) and always coming to games as well as Ryan (Trimby), my partner who’s been really supportive.

‘‘I know this is a small league, but from what I came to from Shepp, it’s just great to be able to have small country towns that I’ve never heard of have teams like this.’’

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