HORSHAM Saints have claimed their second consecutive A Grade premiership by the narrowest possible margin.
They came from fifth at the end of the home and away season to claim Wimmera Netball Association’s ultimate prize, winning 60-59 against the Horsham Demons.
Like their 2017 flag, Saturday’s premiership win was by a goal.
The match was goal for goal for the first few minutes before the Saints upped the ante and opened up a four-goal lead.
They maintained this until the end of the first quarter and headed into the break up 16-12.
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The Saints came out firing in the second quarter and picked up where they left off, surging ahead to a seven-point lead.
But the changes the Demons made to their line-up at the break started to work in their favour, and the team pulled the margin back to four.
Georgia Hiscock came into goal defence for the second quarter, and Liv Jones moved to centre. Elley Heard moved back to keeper after starting in goals, while Casey Jess swung from defence to attack.
The Demons got within three before a run of goals late in the quarter. Hatcher Medal winner Emma Buwalda sunk a goal from long range to level the scores, but Saints went into the main break up by a goal.
Horsham started well in the third and went ahead by two before the scores again leveled.
The Demons then again hit the lead and managed to carve out a four-goal lead late in the quarter, which they took into the final change.
Horsham surged ahead in the fourth to get the margin to seven.
But a run of goals to the Saints had them back in it, and they trailed by two with about five minutes to play.
Two minutes later, they leveled the scores.
The match went goal for goal for the final minutes and could have gone either way, but when the buzzer sounded it was victory for the Saints, 60-59.
Horsham Saints coach Shannon Reinheimer said she was not sure how her team managed to come back from seven goals down.
“It was a similar situation to last year when we were down and out of the game, but somehow we managed to pull through,” she said.
“I honestly thought we were done and dusted. But we managed to hold on and believe in ourselves and win by one goal again.”
Reinheimer said the crowd made a difference in the match.
“We’ve been talking about the vibe around the club, and that really helped us get up and get over these tough games,” she said.
“They definitely got us up and going when we were down.
“The Demons team was loud, but ours was louder and it helped us get over the line.”
Reinheimer said the team’s average age was 18, and given that she thought this season would be one for building experience.
“But those young girls are just so fantastic and they’ve got a lot of talent,” she said.
“Through the year we were able to keep our patience down the court and not lose our heads.
“Those young ones held their heads high during the pressure situations and they did really well.”