The Yanac club achieved the elusive Wimmera Hockey Association trifecta on Saturday when they became the first to ever win three division premierships in one season.
The Yanac Tigers’ win was also significant, winning its fourth consecutive premiership to become the first Open division team to win more than three division titles in a row.
The Tigers began the Open grand final having not experienced defeat in its last 37 games extending over the last two and a half seasons, but they played the Warrack Hoops, the only team to have seriously threatened their dominance.
These teams always put on a good display and this game was no exception, with high-intensity hockey right from the start. Scoring opportunities at both ends of the field highlighted an entertaining first half but it was the more composed Yanac that went into half-time with a one-goal advantage.
The Hoops stepped up the pressure in the second half, but a converted penalty corner extended the Tigers’ lead to two goals.
The flow of the game swung toward the Hoops mid-way through the half and this was rewarded with a goal with just under two minutes to play.
Sensing the opportunity to extend the game into extra time, the Hoops attacked fiercely but the clock beat them, ending yet another epic grand final between these teams that have played off in 14 of the 30 grand finals played in this division since the mid-80s.
The tone was set for a high scoring Women’s grand final early, with both teams on the scoreboard by the midpoint of the first half, but it was the Roos, playing for their third premiership in a row, that went into half-time ahead after their second goal was scored late in the half.
Soon after the game resumed, Yanac earned a penalty stroke that was successfully defended keeping the Roos ahead, but a Yanac goal seven minutes later evened the scores and with another 10 minutes later they edged ahead. Desperate hockey followed but neither was able to advance their scores further, with Yanac tasting grand final victory for the first time since 2015.
In another match up between two very even teams, the combatants in the Under 16s grand final finished the regular season just two points apart.
Warrack Revengers had won twice, the Yanac Warriors once and they had played out one draw.
In an even game, the Warriors gained a one-goal advantage in the first half and although both teams enjoyed periods of dominance neither was able to score again.
Grand Final Results
Open Grand Final
Yanac Tigers 2 (Goals - Josh Cramer, Shaun Alexander; Best - Todd Alexander, Bradley Alexander, Shaun Alexander) defeated Warrack Hoops 1 (Goal - Lachlan Klemm; Best - Cameron Bardell, Hamish Wagenknecht, Todd Krahe)
Best on Ground Medal, presented on behalf of the Life Members of the Association - Todd Alexander (Yanac Tigers)
Women’s Grand Final
Yanac 4 (Goals - Louise Bone 2, Tempany Croot, Carmel Beattie; Best) defeated Dimboola Roos 2 (Goals - Vicki Smithyman, Annabel Askin)
Best on Ground - Jane Gregson Memorial Medal - Carmel Beattie (Yanac)
Under 16 Grand Final
Yanac Warriors 1 (Goal - Chloe Zanker; Best - Rourkey Croot, Caleb Zanker, Charles Hassall) defeated Warrack Revengers 0 (Best - Oskar Bennett, Heath Johns, Tash Engelbrecht)
Best on Ground - Peter Colbert Medal - Rourkey Croot (Yanac Warriors)