Not mission impossible

September 22, 2017

Still eligible for under-17s this season, Shepparton United’s Sarah Bohn will have to contend with star Kyabram defenders Lauren Pryde and Ash Mangan.

Shepparton United’s task is simple; be the first side to defeat Kyabram this season.

Putting that into practice is infinitely more difficult as the Bombers seem to always find a way to win.

The Demons experienced this first hand in the second semi-final that provided Kyabram direct entry into Sunday’s decider.

Di Hanslow’s side led by 10 goals before conceding the game to the Bombers.

But that game showed Kyabram could be matched should United be able to continue the pressure for an extended period.

Through the midcourt was where the Demons gained control of the game, closing avenues to the centre pass to cause uncharacteristic held ball calls against Kyabram.

Hanslow knows the job ahead of her side is menacing, but she has succeeded in the same position before.

In 2014, Shepparton United entered the grand final against Shepparton Swans as the inexperienced underdogs, but found a way to claim the premiership by nine goals.

Genna Ogier, Hayley Fairless and Ash Lancaster were that year’s bunch of talented youngsters proving they could match it in A-grade.

The same also occurred in 2006 when Hanslow brought Kyabram its first A-grade premiership, with Scottish international player Fiona Themann, Ash Mangan, Bree Hanslow and Simone Nalder all teenagers in the side.

‘‘We sort of went through and had never beaten anyone and then we got into the grand final, and that’s the things with young players, they just keep going,’’ Hanslow said.

Now Hanslow is on the opposing side of the many of the players she helped develop.

But her own young stars in Sarah Bohn, Elle Brooks and Laura Cole continue to be pivotal in the A-grade team, despite still being eligible for under-17s.

Entering the game without any expectation of winning, Hanslow said her side would play with freedom.

‘‘The pressure is on them (Kyabram), it’s theirs to lose, as everyone knows they’re undefeated,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s theirs to lose and ours to really go out there and embrace the moment and it’s a great opportunity for our girls, we were given an opportunity when unfortunately for the Bears Kim Commane went down and we seized the moment.’’

The Demons trailed Shepparton in the preliminary final, but were able to take hold of the match following a calf injury to star goaler Commane.

Bohn and Jessie Barnes-Hill also effectively complimented each other in the shooting circle, with Hanslow saying it was integral they did that again.

‘‘It’s about us not making mistakes and making sure that our attack end is really efficient and capitalising on every opportunity of every centre pass,’’ she said.

‘‘We have to be just a dominant down our attack end as what they’re going to be down their defence end.’’

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