LAKE Wendouree’s assault on the grand final was quick and ruthless until the end.
The Lakers swept aside Melton to win their fifth Ballarat Football League senior netball premiership in six years on Saturday.
Coach Sally McLean and her girls set the tone for the match early in the first term, and after establishing a 14-5 lead at the first change, skipped clear to record a resounding 50-31 victory.
The Lakers, beaten just two weeks ago by the Bloods, had winners all over the court. Most valuable player award winner Kirsty Walsh dominated in centre, wing attack Stacey McCartin fed brilliantly to the young goaling combination of Laura McDonald (17 goals) and Gina McCartin (33), while experienced campaigner Emma Burton and Mell Allen were strong in defence.
McLean, who has coached the Lakers to their past five flags, said it was rewarding to be back on top after Redan won last year’s grand final.
“They’re all different and they’re all really exciting because some people go through their whole senior career and never win a premiership, as I did as a player,” McLean said.
“Every time you win it’s just very exciting.”
McLean said her team’s start set up the victory.
“We had an amazing start and we were hopeful of getting a good start. We certainly didn’t expect to be nine goals up in the first quarter,” she said.
“It’s very hard for Melton to peg it back. Once you get your heads that far in front you just build on that momentum.”
Melton worked hard to try and stem the flow in the second term, but when the Bloods found space and scored, it took little time for the Lakers to whisk the ball back down to the other end of the court and reply.
Lake Wendouree’s dominant 15-8 third quarter effectively ended the match as a contest, and with victory assured, McLean brought on youngster Molly Boyle to replace Kara Hart at wing defence.
Both teams scored 12 goals in an even last quarter, but it was not enough for Melton. The Bloods had no answers for a hungry Lakers outfit, which was cleaner when in possession and poured on the pressure when it didn’t have the ball.
Melton was led under the ring by Melissa McCauley (24 goals) and Brooke Gleeson (seven), while goal defence Brooke Thompson led from the front, particularly after quarter time.
The defeat leaves the Bloods still searching for its first premiership since 2001.