From heartbreak to redemption for Yarram

Kate Withers



Yarram have atoned for the heartbreak of last year’s grand final loss with a triumphant win over Churchill to take out the 2018 premiership on Saturday, 8.17 (65) to 5.3 (33).

The heavens opened at Traralgon Recreation Reserve on Saturday and made the going tough for both sides in the opening term, but it was Churchill who played to the conditions and scored the first two goals of the game – both from the mercurial Ben Kearns.

Yarram didn’t respond until the 20-minute mark when Jack Moore snapped a goal to have his side within four points at the first break.

When Luke Brereton goaled shortly after play resumed, the Cougars looked to have the run but a major from big man Dan Vardy was the first in a string of five in a row for the Demons who started to stamp their authority on the game.

Yarram’s big-name players were beginning to crop up as they had done so often throughout the season, with league best and fairest Griffin Underwood and captain Trek Davis prolific in helping their side to a 22-point half-time lead.

Churchill refused to lay down and won the third term, two goals to one, to close the gap to 19 points at the last change.

With one hand on the cup, Yarram broke an eight-minute stalemate in the final term through Jack Moore to extend their lead to 27 points and seal their first North Gippsland Football Netball League premiership.

Demons president Anthony Rodaughan admitted the pain of the 2017 grand final loss to Sale City was front of mind for the Demons from the very start of the season.

“We were very nervous coming into today after last year but this just pays it all back,” Rodaughan said.

“It’s just awesome. I’m so proud of both teams today, and to see these guys come out here today is fantastic.

“We had a bit of a slow start but just kept grinding on and as we do, wear them down with pressure. Scholzy said [to the players] at three-quarter time that we need to play to our strengths because we’re better.

“As long as we play to our strengths, we win.”