The Mulwala Lions came from behind to claim the A Grade Murray League Premiership on Saturday against Tongala, sealing victory in the last minutes of the game.
A Grade co-coach Casey Hudgson said she was extremely proud of the girls who shook off a slow start to come back and capitalise on opportunities when it counted most.
“We were down all day and honestly we didn’t start off playing good netball,” she said.
“Tongala threw everything at as and it took us back a bit. They were definitely stronger than they were last time we played and I think they had put a fair bit into preparing match-ups and studying our team before the grand final.”
The first quarter saw the two teams remain fairly level with the Lions and Tongala going goal for goal.
The second quarter saw Tongala throw everything at the Lions which seemed to unsettle the favourites.
A number of unforced errors by the Lions along with some great attacking play by Tongala goal shooter saw the Lions go into the half time break four goals down.
The third quarter saw Millie Ferguson and Jess Thomson injected into the game.
Tongala continued to dominate play and at one stage take a five goal lead.
The Lions were unable to reduce the difference and were still down by four goals leading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw the Lions regroup and return to some of the best netball they had played all season. The Lions pulled back three quick goals and were back in the game.
“We really did have to fight all day,” Casey said. “But the girls stood up when it mattered most and were able to take advantage of the opportunities that came our way.”
With only minutes remaining the scores were level which brought the large Mulwala supporter group to their feet.
Tongala had their chance to take the lead but through some great defensive work by the Lions defenders they were able to take possession of the ball.
The Lions were able to send the ball quickly to the goalers and took the lead with only seconds remaining.
Tongala had one last chance to level the score but once again the defenders repelled the shooters efforts.
The final whistle saw joyous scenes with the Lions embracing each other after coming from behind to score a miraculous win.
“It was nail biting at the finish but full credit to the girls who were able to finish it off and win the match – we always knew we could do it,” Casey said.
“The team has worked hard all year and they are a credit to themselves. We will certainly enjoy celebrating this victory.”
Final score: Mulwala 37 defeated Tongala 36.
Best players: Eliza Strawhorn, Kate Lynch, Casey Hudgson.
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