NATIMUK United has again played at its best when it matters most, defeating Laharum by one goal in a thrilling Horsham District league A Grade final on Saturday.
Playing in front of its home crowd, the Ewes held on for a memorable win.
It was Laharum’s first loss for the season and fifth straight finals loss against Natimuk United.
The two sides were close for the entire day, with neither side able to build a substantial lead.
The result went right down to the wire with Laharum unable to get in front late in the final term.
The Ewes held on for a 41-40 victory.
Natimuk United coach Cheryl Sudholz said her side found another level, like they do so often in finals netball.
“We just have to take it up a notch and had calm heads,” she said.
“We knew what the stakes were.”
Sudholz said the game was a grind for four quarters.
“As a coach I changed some things and you doubt yourself but I have faith in all of the girls,” she said.
“I was trying to be a bit tactical at times.”
Natimuk United now has another week off before the grand final.
“We hate weeks off and it means one game in a month,” she said.
“We just need to keep going and we have been playing some practice matches in the lead up. That has been really helpful.”
Laharum co-coaches Rebecca McIntyre and Caitlin Story said they were proud of their girls.
McIntyre said: “In comparison to the season you don’t get many four quarter games that are goal for goal and we handled the pressure well.
“The girls were very disciplined and probably played the best they have all season. It was a great game to be a part of.”
Story said the match-up between McIntyre as goal keeper and Ewes shooter Shannon Couch was pivotal.
“I thought that Bec and Shannon contest was really good to watch. To keep Shannon to mid-20s was a great effort, normally she is in the 30s or 40s.
“We had to adjust to the umpires and I thought both teams did pretty well. We were pretty proud of how the girls held their heads.”