Wagga Tigers defend A Grade Premiership
Peter Doherty – Daily Advertiser
Wagga Tigers made it back-to-back A grade netball premierships on Saturday with a nine-goal win over Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes.
“Madi did that and Jess, with her agility to jump and rebound, it really helped to put pressure on their shooters.”
Tigers had made a strong start the priority after struggling early in their finals. They went to the first break up 11-9 and consolidated it with a 13-10 second quarter to lead by five at halftime. After an even third term, the defending premiers finished the game right off to claim a second straight grand final win, this time in the air-conditioned comfort of Narrandera’s indoor stadium.
Ella Finemore and Lana Duffy played their roles forward, and Tigers’ strength in defence meant there was no need to switch Finemore. She was one of three cousins in the team, along with Josie Daniher and Grace Cornell.
Julie Cornell, who coached the Goannas to two of their three flags earlier this decade, paid tribute to her players after taking from Meg Farmer as coach this year. Two weeks ago, she had her doubts that they’d get a shot when they were down to six regular A graders for their do-or-die semi-final against Turvey Park.
“They worked really hard, they were able to win that game and I thought, if we can win that, we’ve got a good chance. And we showed it today,” Cornell said. She said the win was all about the players but “I can enjoy my beer tonight!”
It was Tigers’ sole premiership after their B grade and under 17 netballers both lost to Turvey Park. Led by Angela Allison, the Bulldogs won B grade comfortably, while their teenagers claimed a 34-23 win, with Lucy McIntyre best-on-court.
Leeton-Whitton and Collingullie-Glenfield Park share the other two, with the Demons winning C grade 37-35 (Abbey Thompson best-on-court) while Grace Korovata led the Crows to victory in a thrilling A reserve decider.