GEMS was crowned Horsham City Netball Association’s 13 and under grand final premier on Saturday after beating Horsham Demons 20-9.
Association president Pam Hill said the grand final was much closer than the scores indicated.
“The girls played it out very well,” she said.
“The Gems lost a couple of games to the Demons throughout the year and in the second semi-final the Demons beat the Gems by a goal, so it was great the games were so close.
“The Gems only won the preliminary final by a couple of goals too, but they came home strong in the grand final.”
Ms Hill said there was a terrific crowd at the game.
“We had parents and grandparents and supporters there – it was great to see so many people supporting the girls in what they do,” she said.
Best and fairest winners were announced after the final, with Horsham Demon Eden Heard taking the honour in the 13 and under competition.
Gem Maddie Rethus was runner-up, while City Saint Tyleah Wade and Horsham Demons Isabella Geue tied for third.
Spike Serena Hateley won the modified’s best and fairest award, with Horsham Demon Ebony Glare finishing runner-up and Sapphire Cleo Baker third.
Ms Hill said the competition’s future looked positive with a move to increase numbers next year.
“We have a lot of girls playing 13 and under who are reaching that upper-age limit but don’t particularly want to play in the Wimmera league or Horsham District league,” she said.
“We have had lots of requests to open the competition up to older girls and give them another opportunity to play netball.
“Even those who have never played before, or thought they were too old – we are willing to cater for those girls.”
Ms Hill said the association hoped to have 15 and under teams next year.
“We will definitely have 14 and under, but hopefully 15 and under too if we get enough girls,” she said.
Ms Hill said the competition would resume in April next year.