Triumphant Drouin wins grand final rematch

Heartbreak has given way to glory for Drouin after defeating Traralgon in a thrilling Gippsland League A grade netball grand final rematch on Saturday.

With scores close for most of the game, the Hawks managed to break away in the final quarter to defeat the reigning champions 56-46.

Drouin coach Stacie Gardiner said despite trailing into the third quarter, her side always believed it could overcome the Maroons.

“We pretty much had everything thrown at us in the first half, but we kept the… faith in the game plan,” Gardiner said.

“Even though we were down, we knew we weren’t out of it.

“There was no panic, we kept backing ourselves and our game plan.”

Traralgon’s Ramayer Gourley did the early damage, shooting 10 goals in the first quarter to put the Maroons in front 15-10 at the first break.

There were further problems for Drouin in the first quarter when wing attack Ruby Pratt was forced off the court with an injury and took no further part in the match.

The injury forced Gardiner to reshuffle her team, with Christie Edwards taking Pratt’s place at wing attack.

Jessie Headley moved from wing defence to centre, bringing Linda Rasmussen into the game to take her place.

Traralgon managed to keep its nose in front during a fierce second quarter contest and by half-time led 27-24.

A 10-goal effort from Gardiner in the third term was decisive in overturning Traralgon’s lead and by the end of the third quarter the Hawks led 39-36.

Gardiner backed up her third term heroics with 12 goals in the final quarter as Drouin opened up a decisive lead to seal a 10-goal victory.

Gardiner was named best on court for her efforts.

She said the Hawks’ confidence grew once they took the lead.

“Once we got in front we knew we would run away with it,” she said.

“If we get a few in front it builds the moment and we’ll carry on and that’s when we got that quick eight goals in a row.”

Despite being named best on court, Gardiner said it was impossible to name a key player and the result was a team effort.

“I know it’s a clich but it’s true because everyone had to beat their opponent,” she said.

“Everyone sacrificed the selfish flashy things and got the things done they had to do on their own player.”

In B grade Leongatha received the premiership trophy after defeating Maffra 44-37.

Traralgon won the C grade flag over Moe 54-45.

Moe beat Sale 47-27 to claim the under 17 premiership and Maffra is the under 15 premier after knocking off Wonthaggi 47-39.

Sale overcame Bairnsdale in the under 13 grand final 30 to 25.