The three prior encounters between reigning premiers Millicent and challenger North Gambier had been single figure margins, with the Saints coming out on top every time.
Millicent had clearly had an intense week on the training track and came out relentless in defence, patient in attack and clearly on a mission.
Paige Nitschke, Lucy Denton and Demi Verbena worked the ball and at the main break it was a 12 goal lead.
Portia McRae forced errors in the feed, took impressive interceptions and rebounded strongly.
It was more of the same in the second half as Tabatha Sanderson enjoyed plenty of supply, while turnover ball came from Denton, Lisa Duldig and Hannah Nitschke.
Maddie Whaites and Noni McConnell created critical touches but all too often the ball was lost in transition.
Mel Renko ran hard and creatied turnovers and drivieto the circle, while Brianna Walters used her speed and creative delivery, but the deficit was 19 at three quarter time and 27 by the final whistle.
A RESERVE – NORTH V EAST
North started strongly with Phoeobe McInerney providing opportunities for Alisha Bryan who finished well in windy conditions.
North’s defenders Emily Stafford and Jessie Little worked to block the drive of East and held them to 5 goals for the quarter.
North went into the break with a 7-goal lead.
East fought back in the second with Michelle Richardson and Sharni McKinnon tightening their defence and North struggled to get the ball into their attack line.
Casey Horrigan combined well with Alysia Geraghty and the game was tied at the break.
East came out firing in the third with Teagan Gray running hard through the midcourt and connecting well with Chloe Perryman to find Horrigan in the goal circle.
East took the lead by 3 at the last change.
North injected Amanda O’Shaughessy and her combination with Alycia Close was critical as they fed the ball to Bryan.
Emily Stafford shut down Geraghty and kept her scoreless as North ran out winners by 2 goals.
B GRADE – MILLICENT V NORTH GAMBIER
The B Grade match started slowly before Saints defenders Heather Douglas and Nicole Domaschenz increased their pressure causing North to turnover the ball.
Millicent’s GS Kate Walker found space despite pressure from Elyse Willoughby helping the Saints to lead by 7 at the first break.
Willoughby continued her form in the second blocking the drive of Mia Varcoe and creating opportunities for Sarah Dally.
Millicent’s Jackie Sunderland dominated through the midcourt, combining well with Saige Gibson to increase the lead by 4 to be 11 up at half time.
Keeley Stuart entered the game at WA for Saints and Alice Tentye and Georgia Tarca into attack for North.
The Saints held a match winning lead of 19 goals at three quarter time.
Both sides went goal for goal but the damage was already done, with Saints advancing after winning by 21.
C GRADE – NORTH V SOUTH
South moved the ball quickly in attack and set up scoring opportunities.
It was South’s Bailey Young who was able to score the most from opportunities.
North’s defenders Chloe Miller and Ilana Adam rebounded any missed shots and helped their side go into the quarter time break 3 goals in front.
North’s Kate Dyson and Zoe Rout started to connect well in the midcourt and Young continued to score to be in front by 8 at the half.
South moved Breanna Forster into centre, while Kate Telford and Misty Dalton tightened their defensive pressure to create turnovers.
Forster combined well with Ella Egan to win the quarter by 1.
North pegged the lead back early with Egan dominating.
South regrouped to keep possession of the ball late in the match and run out winners by 3 goals.
17 & UNDER – SOUTH V WEST
In what was the match of the day both sides battled hard before West won by the slightest margin.
West started strongly, scoring quickly with good transition between Tara Bryant and Sarah Ritter.
South’s Megan Reid ran hard and with Alyssa Duncan making the most of her opportunities the game went goal for goal.
West broke away and held a four-goal lead at the break.
South’s Tully McShane provided speed for the South attack, however it was the accuracy of Ritter and Zoe Malseed that was the difference.
West increased their lead to be 8 in front at half time.
West injected Nikki Clayton at WA and South moved Reid to GS and McShane to centre.
Reid used her speed in the circle and finished well.
Bryant and McShane continued to battle hard for their respective sides with Ritter continuing to dominate the shooting circle.
South managed to reduce the margin to 6 at three-quarter time.
South scored the first two goals and the match went goal for goal with South’s Ellie Bouchier causing turnovers to help her side get back into the game while Duncan found space in the circle.
West struggled to find space in the attacking third and with South scoring late goals the game was tied at the final whistle.
The overtime period saw neither team able to break away.
South’s Lydia Megaw worked hard finding space and feeding well but West took charge in the dying minute taking the match by 2.
15 & UNDER A – NORTH V WEST
North used their speed through the midcourt to set up scoring opportunities for Macey Griffith while Jamie Young started strongly at centre for North and had a great battle with West’s Leila Croker.
North held an 11-goal advantage at the first break.
North continued to dominate across the court as Tora Jones worked overtime to gain vital touches and despite the windy conditions the goalies finished accurately.
North extended their lead to 16 at half time.
West’s defenders Ellie Xanthopoulus and Charlotte Scott picked up their intensity while Stella Mobbs worked hard in defence for North and North increased their lead by 10.
North was stronger across the court and advanced with a 29 goal win.
15 & UNDER B – CASTERTON SANDFORD V MILLICENT
The first win for the Casterton Sandford 15 & Under B team was being able to cross the border and play their preliminary final – the second was on the scoreboard as they overcame less than ideal preparation that included no training until the day before the critical game.
Bella Gysbers and Mackinlee Alcock pressured the Cats frontline into errors and at the other end Matti Fauchelle was a focal point and Hailey McGrath converting to see the Saints only four goals down at the main break.
The Cats made some positional changes as Chelsea Hulm did a power of work at goal attack, opening up space for shooter Ivy Lane.
The Cats powered to a nine goal victory, however a late injury to Phoebe Carlin somewhat soured the win.
13 & UNDER A – NORTH V SOUTH
The match started well with both teams going go goal for goal, with South’s Gracie Dalton making the most of her opportunities.
North picked up their defensive pressure late in the quarter to lead by 5.
North’s defence continued with Raine Darmaani intercepting loose balls and combining with Ruby Mitchell.
North’s Claire Mitchell dominated at GS helping her team go into the break 15 goals up.
North continued to breakaway despite South fighting in a high standard match.
13 & UNDER B – MILLICENT V WEST
Millicent used their speed in attack to deliver to Kalani Dunn and Tahnee Grosser.
Millicent’s centre Asha Gysbers created turnovers to stop the flow of West.
West injected Elly McKenny to WD to stop the drive of Poppy Thorne.
This created more turnovers, and the quarter went goal for goal with Lila Pearson from West converting accurately.
Millicent went to the break 9 up.
Millicent’s Lainie Rainsford was injected into attack passing and combining well with Gysbers to enable Dunn plenty of scoring opportunities.
Jeda Hibberd was damaging in defence and the Saints had a 16 goal lead going into the last.
West’s Lara Murdoch combined well with Pearson to outscore the Saints 6-4.