The agony and ecstasy of sport was on full display in the Mininera District Netball Association grand final, as Woorndoo-Mortlake won its third consecutive premiership.
An even contest was expected despite the Hawks winning by 21 goals over the Tigers just two weeks ago.
The game started closely in wet conditions, with Tatyoon jumping out to a narrow one-goal lead at the first break.
The rain continued to pour down as they pushed the lead out to three goals in the second term before the Tigers began to take control of the game.
They swung the momentum their way, taking the lead into the main break.
“When Taty beat us a fortnight ago and we really learnt a lot. We knew we had to come out and start well,” Woorndoo-Mortlake A Grade coach Georgia Muir said.
The Tigers put their foot down in the third quarter, making life hard for Tatyoon’s goalies while converting stongly from their chances as well.
They moved ahead to lead by six goals at the final break. The court began to dry up and the skies cleared in the final quarter as Tatyoon clawed its way back into the game.
But just as they have done for a while now, Tigers shooting combo Sarah and Jess Cameron remained steady, continuing to apply scoreboard pressure on the Hawks.
“We built that lead and we were able to stay composed when they were coming at us,” Muir said.
Tatyoon got within four goals of the Tigers in the last term but that was as close as they got, eventually going down 41 to 34.
“We were chasing and didn’t get to play our natural game,” Tatyoon A Grade coach Lisa Antonio said.
“The weather meant we couldn’t play our game. Our girls are quite skillful and fit and you can’t play that style of netball when it is hailing and raining like it was.
“Credit to Woorndoo, they adapted quicker and better than we did.”
Failing to convert shots at goal hurt the Hawks in the end, taking three more shots but missing 17 per cent more than the Tigers.
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“Their goalies were really composed and confident and provided very few opportunities for our defenders to win the ball back while on the flip side we probably didn’t make the most of our chances and their defenders rebounded strongly,” Antonio said.
Playing coach Muir was named as best on court in the victory for the Tigers.
“The other defenders I play with made me look good,” she said.
“It is such a great achievement for a small town like ours, it was a big team effort.
“Credit to Taty, they were the benchmark all season.”
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The grand final loss was just Tatyoon’s second for the year and was their second consecutive grand final defeat, losing to the Tigers in 2017.
“My girls have worked really hard so not to come away with the win is pretty tough, but that’s the beauty and pain of sport,” Antonio said.
“We are all very passionate but at the end of the day it is only just a game of netball. It will build character and resilience.
“Our girls will hold this loss and come back better for the experience next year.”
The win completes a three-peat for the Tigers, having defeated the Hawks in 2017 and Glenthompson-Dunkeld in 2016.