Horsham District league grand finals | A Grade netball

NATIMUK United has won its second A Grade premiership in three seasons.

The Ewes claimed victory against Harrow-Balmoral 44-41.

A massive crowd had swarmed the Horsham City Oval netball court as the game got underway.

It was goal for goal early before the Ewes were able to break the deadlock and get a couple of goals ahead.

Natimuk United took a three-goal lead into quarter-time.

The second quarter played out much like the first, with neither team able to gain a lot of ascendancy.

The Southern Roos defenders often opted to double-team Ewes goal shooter Shannon Couch and to good effect at times, confusing the feed in from the edge of the circle.

But Natimuk managed to just keep its noses in front to go into the half-time break up 25-22.

The Southern Roos came out firing in the second half, and put on a run of goals early to draw level with the Ewes, then take the lead.

Halfway through the quarter it was the Roos by three.

Harrow-Balmoral coach Ebonie Salter thwarted numerous Natimuk passes on the edge of the Ewes’ goal circle to keep her team in front.

But Natimuk United had a few tricks up their sleeve, and drew level at 34-all before the three-quarter-time siren to set up a tantalising final quarter.

The Ewes were on fire early in the fourth, piling on four goals in a row to jump into the lead.

The match went goal for goal from there, with Natimuk still four goals up at the seven minute-mark of the quarter.

But then the momentum started to swing back in the Ewes’ favour.

With less than five minutes to go, Natimuk had a two-goal lead.

The intense final moments played out as those in the crowd held their breath, and at the final whistle it was Natimuk United celebrating.

Ewes A Grade coach and captain Cheryl Sudholz – who was awarded the medal for best on court – said it was a tough match.

“We always knew they were going to be on our tails all day,” she said. “Full credit to the girls, they just dug deep.

“To get the B and the A premierships was fantastic for the club. All the supporters have been fantastic all year, and we wouldn't have got there without them. We have such a good community – everyone has got involved and it's been great.” 

Lifelong Natimuk United supporter Debbie Keyte – who is also the first aid officer for the A and B grade teams – said she had goosebumps just thinking about the win.

“The game swung around and my heart sort of faltered a few times,” she said.

“It's made me a very happy person. I just love the girls.

“I've been around the club a long time and only experienced two wins in grand finals. To get that same feeling and watching the girls enjoying it today is good for the soul.”