Despite a determined opposition, with a fight that stayed strong until the final whistle, the Horsham Saints have beaten the Horsham Demons and claimed the 2023 Wimmera Football and Netball League A grade premiership.
Clear skies and a hot sun baked the netballers on court at Dimboola Recreation Reserve on Saturday, September 16, but the heat didn't temper either sides efforts.
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Through the opening quarter, teams remained close.
With the reliable aim of the leagues leading goal shooter, Jorja Clode, in their ring, the Saints' netballers took the first quarter lead.
Through the term Clode shot 12 goals of the 14 attempts afforded to her.
And, her impact remained high into the second and third terms, taking 11 goals from 12 shots in both quarters.
A tougher fourth quarter contest through the mid court limited late opportunities for Clode, but she finished the game with a shooting percentage of 77.
Clode's opposite number also put is a quality showing, the Horsham Demons' goal shooter, Georgia Batson, only missed two of her 30 attempts.
The Saints second quarter was particularly strong, the side's defensive pair, Rory Doran and Erin Mellington, neutralised Demons goal attack, Imogen Worthy.
Worthy scored only two of her six attempts during the term as the Saints stretched to a five-goal lead by half time.
In attempts to reign in the impact of Clode, the Demon's shifted fresh legs into the goal keeper position for the second half, with Marnie Lehmann taking the court.
Keely Pope was also brought on the Demons, taking the place of Georgie Carberry, who shifted to centre before she moved to goal attack.
Both sides scored freely in the third quarter, and despite scoring 16 goals, the Saints' advantage grew by only one.
Batson hit 11 goals from 11 through the third.
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The Saints lead held for the first half of the final quarter, but as the clock ticked down, the Demons rallied.
Down by eight goals with less than five minutes left, the trailing side surged.
The Horsham Demons scored seven on the last nine goals in a flow of play that had the Saints' coach, Jess Cannane, admitting a bit more time and the Demons could have caught them in her post game speech.
Batson and Carberry both scored seven goals from eight shots in the last quarter, while the Saints' Clode and Abby Hallam were kept to seven between them.
The Demons won the fourth quarter 14-7, but, the Horsham Saints had done enough to claim a second consecutive WFNL premiership with a 51-48 win.
Horsham Saints' centre, Ashlee Grace earned best on court and was joined in her side's best players by 2023 Hatcher medallist, Abby Hallam.
Carberry and Romi Miller were named as the Horsham Demons' best.
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