The Sunbury Lions have claimed back-to-back premierships in the Essendon District Football League under-18 girl’s division 1 competition.
Red-hot favourites entering the game, the Lions were pushed all the way by Keilor in tough, windy conditions at Highgate Reserve.
Scores were level at half time, after the Lions were wasteful in front of goal when kicking with the wind.
A goal right on three quarter time put the Lions in front and they stayed their for the rest of the game, winning 4.12 (36)-2.3 (15).
Lions coach Travis Hodgson said it was the third quarter that set up the win.
“We had control in the second quarter but we kicked a lot of behinds,” he said.
“It was 13 all and it was eight scoring shots to three.
“Against the wind [in the third] we managed to get them goal less. It was a real scrap and they had the majority of the ball.
“Our backline held up and we had our forwards push up around the stoppages.”
Having kept the Blues goal less for the term, the Lions got the ultimate boost just on three quarter time.
India McNeill-Wren kicked one of her three goals just before the break to give the Lions a goal lead heading into the last quarter.
The Lions were able to kick a fourth goal in the final quarter to seal the win.
Hodgson said the Blues never gave up and tested them all day.
Georgie Prespakis was awarded the best on ground medal, to go with the league best and fairest award she won earlier this month.
“It was hard to argue with that,” Hodgson said.
“The conditions and with a heavy tag, she didn’t get a lot of space.
“She’s so adaptable to that pressure.
Hodgson said that more than half the side was playing in an under-18 premiership for the first time.
Three players played in the under-15 grand final before backing it up in the under-18s.
He said that most of the playing group would still be able to play under-18s next year.
“We expect to remain strong next year,” he said.
“Five players age out including Maddy [Prespakis], who we haven’t seen all year and Molly Hemburrow, who has done her ACL.
“We have got 10 players come up from the under-15s. Our strongest age group is the middle age group, so we if we get them all back, we’ll be strong again.”
While the Lions under-18s tasted success, it was disappointment for the under-15 division 3 girls.
The Lions lost the grand final to Moonee Valley, 5.8 (38)-4.2 (26).
Jemma Taylor kicked two goals for the Lions.
East Sunbury’s under-15 division 2 girl’s side also fell short, losing to St Francis 3.6 (24)-2.3 (15).
Mariam and Charrouf Habib were the goal kickers for the Thunder, with Sophie Pettman and Jessica Hourgian named their best.