Lancefield’s solid work of the past few years has been rewarded with a Riddell District Netball League A-grade grand final spot.
The Tigers won through to this Sunday’s decider with a strong win against Melton Centrals.
Tigers coach Alan Watson said it was the club’s first A-grade grand final since 2004.
“It feels a bit strange,” he said. “We haven’t been there before, let alone in many finals.
“It’s a reflection of reward for effort the girls have had throughout the year.
“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to get to this stage. It hasn’t been an overnight sort of thing – we’ve just been building.
“The support Leanne [Backwell] and the committee has given the netballers has been fantastic.”
Saturday’s preliminary final win was set up in the second quarter.
Centrals led by two goals at quarter-time, but an 18-8 second quarter in favour of Lancefield turned the game on its head. The teams went goal for goal in the second half, with the Tigers eventually winning 55-46.
Watson said his players came out a bit nervous, but once they settled they were able to work themselves into the game.
“The second quarter was absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“We won the last half by one. It was an even second half.
“I made a few moves in the second quarter and I think it impacted the game.
“Maddi Gay went into wing defence and I thought she shut the wing attack down and they lost the feed into the circle. We were fortunate enough to have her for a half before she had to head to work. Ash Hyatt came on and took over where she left off.
“Paula Broadstock went into centre, drove strongly down court … Anica [Scherer] went into goal defence and I thought she was outstanding. Everything worked.”
Watson said the result was due to a really good team performance. He said the attacking end of Courtney Annett (35 goals), Tahnysha Salanoa (22 goals) and Taylah Watson worked really well together, while Olivia Pels was strong in defence.
The Tigers will play red-hot favourite Romsey in the grand final. The Redbacks won the semi-final between the two sides 50-36.
Watson said his players needed to be consistent for four quarters if they were to have a chance of snatching the premiership.
“We had ebbs and flows in that game,” he said of the semi-final defeat.
“Every match is different and previously we had really close games. We’re going in as the underdogs and have nothing to lose.
“We just need to play four quarters of pressure netball.”