White Hills fires in back-to-back netball premiership wins

WHITE Hills marked another four netball premiership victories in Saturday’s grand finals of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League.

Just as they had done a year earlier, the Demons fired in all four matches they played on the court at Specialist Breeders Australia Oval in Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.

In A-grade, White Hills faced Colbinabbin in the battle for the premiership cup for the fourth year in a row.

The Demons outplayed the Grasshoppers in the second semi-final at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve to win 50-37.

That defeat was Colbo’s first of the season.

The Grasshoppers triumphed in the home clash with White Hills at M.J. Morgan Reserve in the seventh round by 11 goals.

Scores were locked 47-all at the end of the return match at Tint-A-Car Oval in Scott Street in the 16th round.

In the grand final it was White Hills which dominated for most of the match.

Playing coach Lauren Bowles was among many of the stars in mid-court as White Hills achieved a 48-38 victory.

The grand final capped a 12-game winning streak by the team in red and black.

Among the many highs for White Hills in the run to another premiership was the play of goalkeeper or goal defence Anna Grace-Close to earn the Esther Cheatley Medal as the competition’s fairest and best player.

The A-grade premiership-winning team from White Hills was Lauren Bowles (coach), Danielle Wee Hee (captain), Yasmin Colley, Bronte Deary, Ashley Gilmore, Anna Grace-Close, Rhian Moresi, Sarah Nash and Dannielle Sawyer.

The Georgie Rodger-coached Colbinabbin added to a remarkable streak of six consecutive A-grade grand final apperances.

The Grasshoppers were premiers in 2015, ’16 and ’17, and runner-up in 2014 and the past the two seasons.

A brilliant day for White Hills FNC included victories in the A-reserve, B-grade and B-reserve matches.

The Demons capped an unbeaten run to the A-reserve title.

A 51-29 victory against Mount Pleasant in the grand final followed a 13-goal win against Elmore in the second semi-final.

Closest finish on grand final day was in B-grade where White Hills took on North Bendigo.

The previous match between the clubs had been in the second semi-final at Heathcote’s Pigeon Park.

On that occasion, White Hills ended the game in front, but the result was reversed because of an error with the team sheet.

The Demons struck back a week later to score a four-goal win in the preliminary final againt Huntly.

On grand final day, White Hills led 44-42 when full-time was called.

It was White Hills against North Bendigo in the B-reserve decider.

Unbeaten in 16 games in the home and away series, White Hills won a closely-fought second semi against North Bendigo by three goals.

The team in red, white and blue earned another chance to play the Demons when it scored an 11 goal victory in the preliminary final against Leitchville Gunbower.

On Saturday it was White Hills which reigned supreme, 41-26.

The under-17 premiership was won by Mount Pleasant.

The Blues took on Colbinabbin after the Grasshoppers had won the preliminary final against Elmore by 38 goals.

Mounts began the finals campaign by scoring a 34 goal win in the qualifying final against White Hills and then followed up with a five-goal victory in the second semi-final showdown with Colbinabbin.

In the season decider, Mounts won 38-35 against the Grasshoppers.

Beaten by Elmore in the second semi of the under-15 competition, Lockington Bamawm United struck back to win the preliminary final against Leitchville Gunbower by 22 goals.

LBU took on Elmore in the grand final.

This time it was the Cats who outpointed the Bloods in a 46-37 result.

Heathcote DFNL netball grand finals scoreboard:

A-grade: White Hills 48 d Colbinabbin 38.

A-reserve: White Hills 51 d Mount Pleasant 29.

B-grade: White Hills 44 d North Bendigo 42.

B-reserve: White Hills 41 d North Bendigo 26.

Under-17: Mount Pleasant 38 d Colbinabbin 35.

Under-15: Lockington Bamawm United 46 d Elmore 37.