Finley C reserve capped off a remarkable underdog effort by winning the Murray Netball League grand final played at Rumbalara on Saturday.
After winning three consecutive elimination finals on their way to the decider, the Cats rounded out a sensational season by upsetting Numurkah 35 to 26. Finley goal defence Emma Evans was awarded best on ground.
Evans was ably assisted in the back half by Bridget Tegart and Lori Parmley, while goal shooter Karen Donkin ran riot inside the arc.
Coach Kate Armstrong said it was a whole team effort that won them the game.
‘‘The girls just did it all,’’ she said.
‘‘I can’t pick a player but Karen and Sally (Bickerton) up forward were phenomenal, and Bridget and Emma worked really hard down back. The mid-court girls worked well to win the ball and create turnovers.’’
Saturday’s emphatic win came off the back of three thrilling lead-up finals, as well as a slow start to the season when they lost four of their first five games with injuries having an impact.
The Cats regrouped and managed to scrape into fifth position. They defeated fourth place Moama by a goal in the first week of finals, followed by wins over Deni (three goals) and minor premier Echuca Utd (one goal).
Armstrong said her side’s determination was clearly shown throughout the season.
‘‘We had to talk Emma Evans into coming out of retirement to play for us and now she’s been rewarded with best on ground in the grand final,’’ she said.
‘‘I was very nervous going into the game but I was confident we would beat Numurkah.
‘‘Once the first quarter was over and we were up by six, I knew we had it.
‘‘The girls weren’t going to give into anything their opponents could throw at them.’’