North Ballarat City is the first A-grade team to lock in a spot in the Ballarat Football Netball League grand final after defeating East Point by 16 goals on Saturday.
Boasting a healthy list and impressive winning streak, North ensured the outcome was different to the teams’ previous encounter, which happened to be the last time it had dropped a game.
While in round eight, East Point pulled off a three-goal victory, this time North managed to lead comfortably at every break before running away with the win.
Young goalers Madison Selmon, Poppy Douglass and Brianna Gregory Johnson had a role to play in the team’s success, shooting at an impressive combined 87 per cent rate of accuracy.
Selmon missed just two shots from her 23 attempts, while Douglass, who came on in the last quarter for fresh legs, missed only once.
North Ballarat City coach Annie McCartin said her players were thrilled to have made another grand final, especially considering the tough competition.
“To now be able to relax and know we’ve got that spot, we’re all very excited about it,” she said.
“A few of the experienced girls appreciate that bit of time with the week off, because the game we had was very, very physical so it gives them a chance to do their recovery and freshen up.”
McCartin was particularly pleased with the flying start from her players after spending a lot of the season working their way into games.
“It puts you in a more positive mindset,” she said. “I can’t speak highly enough of the girls. Everybody from your goalers to your midcourters to your defenders, they all played their role and they were rewarded.”
The lift in North Ballarat City’s defensive pressure has played a key part in success, according to the coach, while the team also refused to take the foot off the pedal despite the comfortable buffer.
“We’re starting to apply that defensive pressure all over the court now, not just leaving it to a couple,” McCartin said. “We’ve worked hard through the season, but I just feel we’re starting to now really get what we get out of applying that pressure.”