Rebuild fast-tracked to grand final glory

September 25, 2017

Well played: Nagambie sharp shooter Bianca Willis claimed best-on-court honours in her side's A-grade win.

Nagambie’s turnaround from the off-season has been sensational.

The Lakers took out the A-grade premiership by two goals against Tallygaroopna on Saturday, despite a host of players departing after last year’s grand final loss to Avenel.

Just Bianca Willis and Katie Sullivan took the court from last season as Abby Misiti was a non-playing coach having given birth to her second child this year.

Misiti said she believed her young side would need time to develop.

‘‘I honestly thought it would be a bit of a rebuilding year considering Morgan (Zotti), Ipsy (Elizabeth Fuhrmeister) and Sarah (Sarah O’Sullivan) are quite young, they’re all in their early 20s and we had that 18-goal loss to Avenel in round one, so it sort of took us back to the drawing board,’’ she said.

‘‘But that’s essentially the same group that played in round one and they’ve really worked hard on their game plan and players like Sharni (Lloyd) and Katie (Sullivan), who have played a lot of netball, have been prepared to change it up and work on our team goals, so I’m really happy.’’

Lloyd, a three-time Warren medallist, returned to the club to provide an injection of experience, more than compensating for what was lost.

She was pivotal in goal attack alongside Willis, who was named best-on-court in the victory.

‘‘Full credit to Katie Sullivan and Bianca who led from the front, they were two of our best performers,’’ Misiti said.

Having suffered a sizeable defeat to the Swans in round one, the Lakers defeated Avenel when it counted.

With a second semi-final victory against Avenel, Nagambie jumped straight into the grand final and Misiti said the group she had assembled received due recognition after finishing top of the ladder.

‘‘Last year was very disappointing and this year the girls have worked really hard and they’ve been a really lovely group of girls supporting each other and I really felt that they deserved that (the premiership),’’ she said.

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