Queens of the court

September 25, 2017

All in: Kyabram was rapt to complete the season undefeated, having not lost since last year's qualifying final.

Contested possession: Kyabram's Jemma Osborne keeps a tight grip on the ball as Shepparton United's Kara Dawes surges for the intercept.

Bursting through: Kyabram's Holly Butler zipped around Deakin Reserve help her side to victory.

Brilliant partnership: Kyabram captain Lauren Pryde and playing-coach Belinda Lees enjoy the spoils of back-to-back premierships.

Kyabram 47 (Elle Groves 25, Belinda Lees 22) d. Shepparton United 44(Jessie Barnes-Hill 29, Sarah Bohn 11, Elle Brooks 4)

Kyabram is the undisputed champion of the Goulburn Valley League.

Every team that tried to beat the Bombers this season failed in their pursuit with yesterday’s grand final no different.

While Shepparton United ensured the win was not gifted to Kyabram, Belinda Lee’s side held up the premiership cup following a three-goal victory.

The Bombers will now head into next season looking to continue their unbeaten run of 24 matches, having not experienced a loss since last year’s qualifying final.

With back-to-back premierships, Kyabram players revelled in the atmosphere of the second consecutive season finished with an ideal ending.

While United entered the match as clear underdogs, the Demons showed their intent early.

Breaking the first centre pass, Di Hanslow’s team was able to build a three goal lead by replicating what had served them well in the semi-final against the Bombers.

In similar fashion to the match two weeks ago, United’s pace in moving the ball into attack was rewarded by Jessie Barnes-Hill’s conversion as the star goal attack gave her all for the match’s entirety.

But unlike the semi-final when the Demons built a 10-goal lead, Kyabram was not willing to let the margin grow to those proportions.

Veteran defenders Ash Mangan and Lauren Pryde picked off high balls sent to Sarah Bohn, as the swirling wind meant lobs to the tall goaler were infective.

The opportunities presented in Kyabram’s attacking circle were superbly finished off by Elle Groves.

Seemingly unhindered by the gusts, Groves remained accurate as Kirsty Hommes and Elle Brooks persisted in defence.

With the reining premiers leading by six goals at the first break, again United persisted to bring the margin closer.

But like they have done all year the Bombers switched into another gear to pull out the buffer.

Hanslow brought off daughter Bree Hanslow and replaced her with Kate Durling midway through the term which sparked a change.

Durling’s netball smarts in wing attack were pivotal as she had good foresight in spotting Bohn when free and took the full three seconds to determine the right option.

Despite this strong patch, the Demons still trailed by five goals at half-time.

They just failed to dominate the game for enough time, as there was plenty of contested ball with both sides charging towards the ball.

Two-time Wellman medallist Steph Vick rarely disappoints in important matches and again was a pivotal component in moving the ball down the court.

With blistering leads into the attacking third, Vick was awarded the most valuable player award, to add to her Wellman medal from Monday night.

The third quarter remained even, although United had chances to bring the scores level.

But the Demons threw away plenty of ball which Kyabram pounced on to always remain a step ahead like they have done all year.

Despite last minute changes in the final quarter as Hanslow moved Brooks to goal attack and teenager Olivia Kirby into defence, it was not enough.

Lees again stuck with her starting seven through the whole match, as the tight-side showed they will stand up when tested.

While three goals was the final margin, the Bombers looked in control following the first frantic minutes allowing the long-serving players to bring the club’s sixth A-grade premiership back to Kyabram.

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