MPNFL netball: Edithvale-Aspendale wins four flags from four grand finals
The Eagles made a clean sweep of the Mornington Peninsula Nepean competition. And for their A graders it was their sixth premiership on the bounce.
What a day for Edithvale-Aspendale Netball Club and what a season.
The Eagles on Saturday made a clean sweep of the Mornington Peninsula Football Netball League grand finals at Rosebud, winning all four premierships on offer. And for the club’s A grade team, it was a sixth consecutive flag.
Edi-Asp’s top side took the long road to the grand final, having to play every week of the five-week finals series.
The Eagles started strongly with the linking play of Leah Percy in the centre combining beautifully with Emily Patterson and Chelsey Tregear to deliver the ball into the league’s 2019 sharpshooter Eliza McGuigan, who took ball strongly and converted almost every opportunity.
Eagles defenders Chris Vickery, Michelle Saunders and 150-gamer Caris MacInnes played tight defence and smothered the Rosebud attack.
The Eagles led 30-20 at halftime and rotational changes brought Alex Ball into goal attack and Tregear into the centre.
The Eagles took a minute to settle with the new combinations and the vocal home town crowd sensed a shift in the game.
But Edi-Asp soon hit its stride and the Rosebud defenders had no answers to counter the attack.
The Eagles ran away with the game 58-40 to make it four-from-four for the club.Tregear was MVP.
“In the club’s short but proud history, a clean sweep of four teams for four grand finals and four premiership wins is unprecedented made even more special by the family of Kevin Lyons present winning medals to all the girls,’’ official Helen Hollis said.
The day started with the D grade team meeting Mt Eliza.
The young Eagles had an undefeated season and came out strongly.
Ashleigh Johnson was commanding in the midcourt, defenders Lani Jaznowski and Charli Davis were impenetrable in defence, winning the turnover ball, and with goalers Jacinta Hart and Grace Bowles shooting with near-perfect accuracy, Edi-Asp shot to a 9-0 lead before Mt Eliza took a breath.
The final score was 55-22, with Grace Bowles the MVP
The C grade team’s effort was spearheaded by league best and fairest Wendy Morcom.
Like the A graders, C grade had to win through every week to make the finals and against Frankston YCW it was never going to be easy.
Midcourters Chloe and Charlize Wright were tireless and the Eagles were able to get out to a small lead.
But they misfired in the third quarter, some of their connections into the attacking circle astray, and with more rebound opportunities for YCW the game tightened up.
The Eagles went into three-quarter time just in front. Coach Verity Connellan, sensing the players were tiring, asked supporters to get behind them. It was just the spark needed. Bec MacInnes found her range, delivering the ball with pinpoint accuracy into goal attack Nicole Stenneker, who was finding the back space along the baseline.
Helped by some timely turnovers from the defenders, the Eagles ran out winners 38-30, Morcom the MVP
The B grade team made it three-from-three when it nosed out old foe Frankston YCW and completed an unbeaten season, despite being hard hit by injury.
Defender Laura Scott took the court after five weeks out with injury but it was as if she had never left.
Alongside her was league best and fairest Bec Pahl and the electric Georgie Kibel prowling the transverse line.
Their pressure enabled the Eagles turnover ball and they converted.
But YCW was not going away easily and with a vocal crowd cheering them on, the Stonecats stepped up their defensive pressure against Edi-Asp shooters Casey Shiel and Chelsea Morrow. The game became a battle of the defenders and YCW was able to claw back the margin.
The pressure was building in the fourth quarter for players and spectators, e and the momentum was clearly with YCW.
But the Eagles had done enough early and were able to hang on 35-33, Casey Shiel the MVP.