It was heartbreak for Sunbury Lions’ C-grade team losing their Ballarat Netball League grand final in extra time to Lake Wendouree.
Both sides left everything on the court as they looked to take home the cup in what proved to the closest match of the day.
It the previous clash between the two sides was anything to go by, it would be a close fought match. In the semi final, the Lions won the match by three in extra time.
The Lions were dealt a blow before the game with shooter Jennifer Lewis ruled out of the game due to being bed ridden with the flu.
The Lions started strong defensively, but weren’t able to convert on the scoreboard in difficult conditions that affected all shooters across the day.
Despite having four more shots and looking the better of the sides for the first quarter, the Lions trailed by a goal at quarter time.
The Lakers started to work their way into the game in the second quarter, but couldn’t convert. The margin remained one goal at half time.
Goals were hard to come by early in the third quarter, before the Lakers got the lead out to a game high four goals during the quarter.
It was three at the last break, with the Lions having the job ahead of them.
The Lions were up to the task and levelled the scores on more than one occasion, but couldn’t hit the front.
The Lions defenders were strong like they had been all day, and while the Lakers shooters started to struggle, the Lions shooters held their nerve.
At the end of regular time scores were locked at 25 apiece, meaning a second straight extra time game between the two sides.
The Lakers got the early lead in extra time and led by one goal at the change of ends. With that lead it left the Lions again chasing.
They levelled the scores more than once, but a Lakers goal five seconds before the siren gave them a 32-31 win.
The defensive end of Courtney Bryant, Casey Martin and Amanda Colahan were the standouts for the Lions.
Youngster Shelby Holter showed she is a player to watch in the future, shooting 24 goals, including some clutch goals late.
Lions’ A and B-grade coach Adam Boldiston said there were a lot of good signs for the future with these team.
It was also disappointment for the Lions’ D-grade side which also lost their grand final to Lakers.
Having inflicted the Lakers first loss of the season in the qualifying final, the Lions weren’t able to repeat that.
The Lions trailed by three at quarter time and weren’t able to peg the Lakers back. The Lakers extended the lead at every break, winning 37-25.
For more pictures from the C-grade game, CLICK HERE