After years of heartache, Rupertswood is through to a Riddell District Netball League A-grade grand final.
The Sharks have played finals every year they’ve been in the competition, but have always struggled come this time of year.
Now their premiership dream is a step closer to reality, with the Sharks the first team through to the grand final after defeating Wallan 39-38 in a semi-final.
The Sharks needed the whole 60 minutes to get the job done.
Coach Di McCormack was in disbelief after the game.
“I’m actually speechless,” she said.
“It was a hard path there and Wallan took it to us at every turn.
“It was a great battle, great contest and good on Wallan for making it so hard.
“I couldn’t be prouder that we had composure when things weren’t going our way.”
The Sharks were in front for most of the game but couldn’t push it to more than a three-goal margin.
Each time they looked like they would get the margin out, the Magpies responded.
The Sharks were three goals ahead at three-quarter time but the Magpies shot the first three goals of the last quarter to level the scores.
The two teams traded shots throughout the last quarter.
Nerves were on show for both teams – the Sharks threw the ball away, while the Magpies missed crucial shots.
The Sharks held on to come away with the win.
McCormack threw out a number of different combinations, with all but one player taking to the court.
She said it was a mixture of getting the right combinations and making sure they had some fresh legs.
“I made a fair few changes and I think the combos worked when I did them.
“I don’t think anyone played a bad game, they all played for each other.”
McCormack said it was a somewhat nervous performance from the side, but the players were able to stay composed when they needed too.
The Sharks’ shooters held their nerve, missing just one shot for the day. Jade O’Shannessy finished with 27 goals.
McCormack said she was impressed with how O’Shannessy stood up under the pressure.
In defence, it was Matilda Elliot who was the standout.
All three circle defenders, Elliot, Clare Johnson and 15-year-old Grace Markovic did the job when they were on the court.
“We did a lot of good work over the ball, we had some match-ups,” McCormack said.
The Sharks will now get the weekend off, before facing Wallan or Macedon in the grand final the following Sunday.
It was a good day for the Sharks with their B-grade and under-19 teams also winning through to the grand final. Their C-grade side lost.
In the other A-grade semi final, Macedon beat Romsey 46-42.