Newport’s decade of dominance has continued with a remarkable eighth premiership in 10 years in the Lacrosse Victoria women’s state league.
The Porters overcame a stern challenge from arch-rivals Footscray to win 8-6 in the grand final at the Malvern Lacrosse Club on Saturday to make it back-to-back titles.
Incredibly, the last 10 top-tier deciders have been between Newport and Footscray, with the Porters winning the lion’s share.
Porters coach Sue Sofarnos told Star Weekly there had been little to separate the two sides down the years, but the Porters seem to rise to the occasion better in September.
“It’s always tight,” she said. “If we don’t play to our best, we won’t beat them.
“We just seem to have the wood on them when it comes to crunch time.”
It was Newport’s 42nd consecutive appearance in the grand final and their 24th premiership in that span.
It will be remembered for a wonderful performance of Marlee Paton, who returned home this season after a stellar career with Loyola University in the US.
She scored three goals and showed her array of skills in winning the game’s MVP award.
“She’s a class act – one of the top players in the world,” Sofarnos said. “A couple of her moves were magic and her work rate around the field is high class.
“We’re so lucky to have her back this year after she’d been away for five years in college.”
Hayley Sofarnos scored two goals and dominated centre possession.
Elise Hussey, Jen Plumb and the youngest player on the field, Tori Naylor, 17, also scored.
The Porters were able to nullify the impact of Footscray stars Sarah Mollison, Abbie Burgess and Steph Kelly and that went some way to securing the victory.
“They’ve got some wonderful attackers,” Sue Sofarnos said. “We played some good defence but probably not as strong in some areas as I hoped we would, but it was enough.
“The game wasn’t put away until the end. It was really exciting.”