SANDHURST’S amazing run of success in A-grade netball rolled on at the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s grand final on Saturday.
The Dragons faced a spirited challenge from Kangaroo Flat on the court adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Sandhurst was also chasing the rare feat of a premiership hat-trick in the league’s top grade.
The run to the grand final included a one-goal win for the Kangaroos on Sandhurst’s home court at the QEO in round 10.
Most recent meeting was in the second semi-final where a fired-up Dragons line-up won 41-27.
Kangaroo Flat made a brilliant start to the final showdown of the season.
The Jayden Cowling-coached Kangaroos led 11-9 by quarter-time and surged to a six-goal lead in the second before the Dragons fought back.
Fans were treated to a terrific match across the opening three terms.
Scores were locked on 21-all at half-time before Sandhurst won a closely-fought third quarter, 9-7.
The Dragons led 30-28 going into the final term of the season and played brilliant netball in all thirds of the court to seal a 42-35 victory.
The Sandhurst team was jointly coached by Tamara Gilchrist and Heather Oliver.
Playing at goal attack, Heather Oliver scored 26 goals and earned the best player on court award.
A talented Sandhurst line-up included captain Meg Williams at wing attack and Imogen Sexton in defence who have played in all three matches of the premiership streak, along with Carly Van den Heuvel and goalshooter Rebecca Smith.
Among the many highlights was the duel between Williams and young wing defence Ella Wicks.
Kangaroo Flat’s Annie Spear scored 26 goals as key defender Alicia McGlashan, contested a 10th A-grade grand final.
Other key players in the Roos’ charge to the season decider included Chelsea Sartori, Ingrid Hopkins, Julia Clarke and Kate Burton.
The grand final line-up included Milly Wicks and Kate Burton.
The premiership-winning team from Sandhurst was Heather Oliver, Meg Williams, Imogen Sexton, Carly Van den Heuvel, Brianna and Erica Dalrymple-Monro, Rebecca Smith, Ruby Turner and Madi Sexton.
It was the second time in Sandhurst FNC history the club had marked a hat-trick of A-grade netball premierships.
A memorable day for Sandhurst included the wins by the A-reserve and 17-under teams.
Sandhurst faced Kangaroo Flat in the A-reserve match.
The Hurst led 13-7 at quarter-time and 28-15 by half-time.
Most even term was the third as Sandhurst added 13 goals and the Roos scored 10.
The Dragons dominated the last quarter and led 53-33 at the final whistle.
Best player medal was presented to Sandhurst’s Kelsey Ralph.
Sandhurst’s premiership-winning team, coached by Tamara Gilchrist and Heather Oliver, was Emmie Banfield, Kate McDougall, Gabrielle Gr eene, Tamara Gilchrist, Madi Sexton, Ruby Turner, Kelsey Ralph, Paige Ryan and Matisse Perez.
In the 17-under competition, Sandhurst marked a premiership hat-trick.
The rising stars from Sandhurst and Golden Square took to the court.
An evenly-fought first term ended with Sandhurst in front, 12-8.
It was in the second where the Rose Gallagher-coached Sandhurst took control.
The team in maroon and blue scored 15 goals and played strong defence to limit Golden Square to just six goals.
Despite a 13-goal deficit at half-time, the Melinda Keighan-coached Golden Square kept the workate a high level.
The blue and gold added 12 goals in the third term as Sandhurst scored 13 to hold a 14-goal buffer going into the final quarter.
By the final whistle, Sandhurst was celebrating a 51-35 victory.
Best player medal was presented to Holly Lockhart of Sandhurst.
The premiership-winning team for the maroon and blue was Piper Dunlop, Tess Keating, Darcey Lloyd, Holly Lockart, Meg McCarthy, Bronte McConnachie, Pip Robertson, Sahara Rodda, Isabella Shoebridge and Darcy Williams.
It was not all doom and gloom for Kangaroo Flat on the netball court.
The Kangaroos took on Sandhurst in the B-grade match.
Sandhurst was beaten just once in the18-round regular season as Kangaroo Flat went into the finals on 14-3 win-loss tally, plus a draw.
The Nina Cass-coached Roos won the qualifying final against Golden Square by 15 goals and then stunned the Erica Dalrymple-Monro coached Sandhurst a week later to score a 51-41 victory.
The Dragons struck back to win the preliminary final against South Bendigo by four goals and earn a shot at premiership glory.
In the grand final, Kangarooo Flat started well to lead 13-7 at quarter-time.
Sandhurst’s pressure was rewarded at it drew level, 19-all by half-time.
The Kangaroos hopped to a four-goal lead at a quarter to go and withstood a strong fightback to win 40-37.
Emily Gray capped a superb match for Kangaroo Flat by being named best on court.
The Kangaroos’ premiership team was Shae-Anna Cairns, Emma Cravino, Karly Elvey, Chelsea Goulden, Emily Gray, Lucy Lang, Courtney McDonald, Nicola McIvor, Elise O’Callaghan, Bella Pearse and Rachael Winfield.
The day’s netball action began with the B-reserve match between Strathfieldsaye and Eaglehawk.
The grand finalists had identical win-loss records of 16-2 in the home and away series, but the Hawks were first and Storm was third on percentage.
In week one of the finals, Strathfieldsaye scored a six-goal victory in the qualifying final against Sandhurst and then followed up with 44-33 win against Eaglehawk in the second semi.
The Hawks struck back to win the preliminary final against Sandhurst by 15 goals.
The Elyse Morgan-coached Storm led 9-8 at quarter-time of Saturday’s grand final and surged to a 20-15 lead by half-time.
In what’s dubbed the premiership quarter, Strathfieldsaye dominated the third.
Storm scored 11 goals and kept the Hawks to just four.
At the final whistle, Strathfieldsaye led 39-25 as Storm’s players, coaches and supporters celebrated premiership glory.
The best player award went to Chelsie Haebich from Strathfieldsaye Storm.
Chelsea Crapper, Amy Davies, Chelsie Haebich, Ava Hamilton, Mabel Kean, Lucinda Parsons, Claudia Petri, Alicia Rady, Samantha Reaper, Shannon Thelan, Kasey Treloar and Ashleigh Zera joined forces to add to Strathfieldsaye’s prem