Narrikup 1 secured back-to-back Albany Netball Association A1 premierships with a gallant six-goal victory against Royals 1 in Saturday’s tense grand final.
Shooter Cherie Determes led all scorers with 27 goals to win the Lucielle Holt Award for the fairest and best player in the grand final while reliable defenders Ashleigh Haydock and Lisa Amess also stood out for the winners.
Royals wrestled the momentum back off the minor premiers on a number of occasions in the first three terms but they failed to get in front during any stage of the last quarter as Narrikup secured their piece of history, 38-32.
Determes stood up when required, shooting nine goals in the final stanza to stamp her authority on the match while the effort of Haydock’s shutdown on Royals’ forward Ronnie Williams was also pivotal.
Haydock produced yet another sturdy performance and negated Williams’ influence to just 12 goals in the season decider while Amess gave consistent drive from the back half.
“Ashleigh and Lisa had brilliant games,” Narrikup coach Lisa O’Farrell said.
Royals teenager Suzie Mier started well up forward, netting six first quarter goals as they led by a single goal at quarter time but Narrikup started to warm to the task in the second as Sharni Bracknell and Jorden Tester began to get on top.
Tester played three quarters of the match as centre, and was instrumental in the Narrikup turnaround, outscoring Royals 9-5, to lead by three goals at the main break.
Royals chipped away in the third term as the introduction of Chloe Cook to forward had immediate results but Determes nailed seven of her own to ensure they headed into three quarter time ahead.
O’Farrell was thrilled with the last quarter dominance, which ensured consecutive premierships.
“It could have been anyone’s game at three quarter time but the girls dug deep,” she said.
“I just can’t praise them enough, it was a fantastic effort.”
Royals’ player-coach Kathleen Mier was optimistic about the result, after they came from fourth to play in the grand final.
“I am not disappointed, I am really proud of the girls,” Mier said.