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2018 WNA grand final | Horsham Saints victorious in déjà vu result

Ashlee Grace and Shannon Reinheimer celebrate. Horsham Saints win WNA A grade premiership.

Ashlee Grace and Shannon Reinheimer celebrate. Horsham Saints win WNA A grade premiership.

By DEAN LAWSON
Horsham Saints A Grade netball coach Shannon Reinheimer is still struggling to come to grips with her team’s back-to-back Wimmera association premiership.
When asked her thoughts on the dramatic one-goal win over Horsham at Warracknabeal’s Anzac Park she responded with, ‘I still can’t believe it, it’s a dream come true’.
The Saints story is remarkable considering their 2018 finals campaign all but mirrored their 2017 pathway and result. The only major differing element was their grand-final opponent. Last year it was Minyip-Murtoa.
“To win back to back by one goal on both occasions doesn’t seem real,” Reinheimer said.
“Both times we had to scrape into the final five and come up through elimination and semi-finals. Yes, there certainly is a bit of déjà vu about it all.”
The Saints clinched Wimmera netball’s major prize at the deathknock in a thrilling clash in front of noisy and passion-fuelled fans.

THRILLER: Horsham Saints’ Abby Hallam wins front position during an intense Wimmera Netball Association A Grade grand final at Warracknabeal’s Anzac Park. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER

THRILLER: Horsham Saints’ Abby Hallam wins front position during an intense Wimmera Netball Association A Grade grand final at Warracknabeal’s Anzac Park. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER

A crowd surrounding the court on Saturday was several-people deep as two of the best netball outfits in the region put on a showcase of intense high-quality netball.
The game was also a rare opportunity to see some of the young talent on the rise in the region with many players still in the infancy of their sporting careers.
Reinheimer revealed that only five members of her successful 10-player grand-final squad were over 18 and Horsham was not much different.
She also admitted that for a moment at the start of the fourth quarter on Saturday she feared her team was ‘done and dusted’.
“But momentum changed so much throughout the game. They missed a couple of goals, we won a couple of turnovers and we just happened to be in front at the final siren,” she said.
The Saints managed to snatch the early initiative and led by four goals at quarter time, but found themselves in front by only one at the main change.
Demons strong
Horsham gathered itself during the break and came out strongly in the second half, its reputable defensive pressure whittling away at the Saints until the maroon and blue snatched the lead on three-quarter time.
A four-goal break for the Demons, with shooter and Hatcher Medallist Emma Buwalda on song, quickly expanded to seven and Horsham seemed to have an unassailable lead.
But Horsham Saints also rallied and profound efforts supported by a barracking throng on the sidelines steadily pegged back the margin.

PHOTOS: Saints interrupt Horsham Wimmera Netball Association grand final parade

The Saints found themselves in front as the clock ticked away the final seconds of the final stanza and as Horsham ran the ball down the court the siren sounded.
The Saints won 60-59, captain Ashlee Grace starring in the centre for the winners and Horsham shooter Buwalda winning best-on-court honours.
Reinheimer said she was proud of the efforts of her team.
“It was good to get the lead in the first quarter because the Demons came out firing. It gave us the confidence to believe that whatever happened, we could match them,” she said.
“At half time we expected them to come back strongly and they did and we were in for a tight tussle for the rest of the game.
“Ashlee Grace was fantastic, leading by example. She was wearing a monitor that showed she ran an incredible eight kilometres during the game.
“Horsham’s overall defensive pressure was incredible and I’m just happy we got there.”
Reinheimer said her team would now attempt to win a rare hat-trick of A Grade premierships.
“To do it three times in a row would be unbelievable but we’ll try. We’ll probably lose Rene Caris to footy but hopefully we’ll retain all other players, who keep improving each year,” she said.
Despite the A Grade loss, there was more celebrating than commiserating throughout the Horsham netball camp.
The Demons won a B Grade flag by two goals against the Saints, a C Grade final against the Saints by one, a 17 and under clash against Dimboola by three, a 15 and under A final by one against Ararat, a 15 and under B match by 43 against Stawell and a 13 and under game against the Saints by 26.

The entire September 26, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire September 26, 2018 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Sep 26 2018

Posted by on Sep 26 2018. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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