After a number of near misses Katie Clarke is a Riddell District Netball League premiership player.

Firstly with Rupertswood and then Macedon, Clarke had missed out on playing a grand final with both teams in recent years, despite both clubs being among the favourites each season.

This time round, the Cats managed to make the grand final.

After what was a nervous week for Clarke, she finally took to the court and helped the Cats defeat Romsey 56-44.

Speaking after the game, Clarke said there was mixed emotions to finally get that premiership medal.

“I think it’s part emotional, part elation,” she said. “It’s such a special thing to play in a grand final and a lot of girls don’t get to play in them that often.

“I think the fact that we’ve worked really hard and did a lot of preseason, it means a lot.

“I think it’s vindication a bit. I don’t know how much longer I’ve got left, so to finally get one more premiership is icing on the cake.”

Clarke’s season didn’t get off to the best start, when she broke her big toe three days before the season started.

After returning the court in round four, Clarke again starred back in goalkeeper.

She was named in the team of the year.

“That was a bit of surprise this year,” she said. “With Monique [Clark], Lauren Close and you’ve got Clare Johnson at Rupo, there’s so many quality goal keepers in this league.

“It’s amazing and the league’s amazing.”

This season is Clarke’s second at the Cats, after moving across from Rupertswood.

She said while she loved playing at Rupertswood, she felt she needed a different challenge.

“Playing with Rupo there was a lot of young girls and I felt I needed to start to really feel like I had to earn my spot on the court.

“They’ve all been playing together at Macedon for so long and there’s some really strong defenders. I’ve felt it has really made me put my foot down and really earn my spot on the court each week and if I’m not playing well I’m benched.

“I’m probably at the fittest I’ve been in a long time.”

Romsey’s Chelsea Ross and Macedon’s Katie Clarke. Picture Shawn Smits.