Echuca's Caitlyn Strachan won Sunday's Australian Netball League grand final with the Victorian Fury.ERIN LYONS August 27, 2014 3:04am
Echuca’s Caitlyn Strachan co-captained the Victorian Fury to victory in the Australian Netball League grand final on Sunday.
The back-to-back premiership win against Queensland Fusion 51-49 at Waverley Netball Centre was the club’s 23rd consecutive win following two unbeaten seasons.
Despite having earned themselves an 11-goal buffer by the main change, the Fury withstood a dramatic late surge from the visitors who almost deprived the Victorian side of its fifth ANL title.
The Fury vice-captain and former Echuca United netballer said the nail-biting grand final win was a ‘‘whole team performance’’.
‘‘It was nice to go through the whole season undefeated,’’ Strachan said.
‘‘It’s a good environment at Fury and such a great bunch of girls.
‘‘Every team is tough and we are all just happy to grab that win.’’
The Fury almost had their outstanding winning streak brought to an abrupt end when the Fusion found themselves only a goal down with less than a minute of match time remaining.
Strachan said Queensland made regular changes to their line-up which caught the Fury offguard.
‘‘We led for the whole match, but they really came back hard in that final term,’’ she said.
‘‘Queensland made a lot of changes and we didn’t quite adjust to those changes.
‘‘I don’t think we played the four quarters.’’
It was by no means smooth sailing in the lead up to the final for Strachan. The Fury’s mid-courter rolled her ankle on Saturday evening, the night before the grand final clash.
‘‘I went down on my ankle on Saturday night, so I was just happy to actually make it through the match,’’ she said.
‘‘But I am very happy with my overall season performance.’’
Strachan, who ran out the match in centre, said she will use the next two months to recover.
However the soon-to-be bride will still be occupied planning and finalising things for her big day.
‘‘I’m looking forward to having some time to recover, I will of course be heavily working on my fitness too,’’ she said.
‘‘But I’ll be very busy planning and finalising things for the wedding.’’
Strachan’s wedding ceremony will take place in Echuca in early November. The newlywed will then jet off to Mexico and New York for her honeymoon before she returns to begin her career with the Queensland Firebirds in the Australian and New Zealand Championship season.
‘‘It will be a really quick turnaround,’’ Strachan said.
‘‘I have to be up in Brisbane before December 1 which is when my contract starts at the Firebirds.
‘‘I’m excited to start fresh and be given this new opportunity.
‘‘There’s a lot of stability in the firebirds side and there will be four new faces joining the team for the 2015 season.’’
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