Sunbury Lions were bundled out in the preliminary final after their worst performance in the Ballarat Netball League this season.
The minor premiers had endured an inconsistent finals series but never got going against East Point at the weekend, losing 44-28.
While the Lions led at half-time, coach Adam Boldiston wasn’t happy.
He said players had forgotten the form that had seen them do well throughout the season.
“We didn’t play as well as the first half last week,” he said.
“We had barely anyone step up on court and we didn’t win a single position.
“We might have come out even in a couple of positions, but we had no winners.”
Boldiston said B-grade player Renee Hulls kept them in the game in the first half, shooting 14 goals from 15 attempts.
Tarnee Adams came in at the main break to partner with Hulls in goals but the change didn’t produce the results Boldiston was hoping for.
East Point dominated the quarter with 24 attempts at goal compared to the Lions’ 10.
The Lions never recovered and East Point continued its dominance.
“Credit to East Point, they wanted it more,” Boldiston said.
“They played well and looked for the ball.
“Our experienced players didn’t step up to stop the rot when we needed them to.
“We were too costly with the ball and didn’t execute.”
Boldiston said it was disappointing to bow out in the preliminary final, having finished the regular season on top of the ladder.
Having won their first 15 games, the Lions last three of their last four games.
Boldiston said the biggest issue for the side was consistency and having a full team. The team had relied on B-graders throughout the season and had five B-graders qualify for finals.
He said that flowed on at training as well
“It was really hard as we didn’t get the connections.”
But he believes they could have taken it up to North Ballarat City had they made the grand final.
“I thought any one of the top four sides would have had a crack.
“It’s a hard one to take. If we played out best netball, I thought we were capable of good things.”
It wasn’t all bad news for the Lions, their B and C-grade netball sides won through to the grand final.
The B-grade side defeated East Point 49-46.
Boldiston said they would have a full B-grade side to choose from, with Hulls to drop back down.
The C-grade side defeated Bacchus Marsh 34-29.
Both sides lost in the grand final last season and are keen to finish the job this season.
The Lions under-18.5 footballers are through to the grand final after beating East Point, 6.12 (48)-6.4 (40).
The reserves were knocked out, losing to Bacchus Marsh 6.12 (48)-6.5 (41).