Check out all the action and the glory from the A Grade Grand Final held on Saturday September 9 at the Central Oval Complex.
Railways taste Grand Final glory
The minor premiers went into this match as overwhelming favourites, having secured twice as many wins during the season as their opponents — who they had defeated by 21 goals in their last clash of the minor round.
But the last two times these clubs had met in an A Grade Grand final, Vikings had won.
However on Saturday Railways finally got the monkey off their back and won by a comfortable 12 goals against a gallant Vikings side that refused to lie down.
Early on the clear difference was in the goal circle.
Railways goalies Claire Schupelius and Courtney Nowack were able to convert more easily, while at the other end in defence, Peytie Fuller and Brynn Byron-Boles pressured the Vikings combination of Mikalya Hudson and Tiana Freeman into errors.
Vikings were only shooting at 53 per cent but despite this, the margin at quarter time was only five goals.
Vikings strength all year has been its superb defence in the form of the brilliant Transcontinental medallist Erin Egel and teammate Kym Bishop.
In the second they started to exert an influence on the game and despite Vikings conversion rate dropping to a dismal 40 per cent, enabled Vikings to only concede two goals.
Half time saw coach Haley Harris switch young Lara Etchells from Centre into goal and Mikalya Hudson out to Wing Attack, and it worked as the side suddenly became able to convert the chances coming out of defence — the conversion rate rose to a credible 73 per cent.
Railways still looked in control and the scores for the quarter were identical, even though Railways were creating their own opportunities courtesy of a midcourt that was creating plenty of turnovers.
In the last Railways blew the lead out to 11 before a late surge saw them extend it to 12 at the final siren.
Railways should be pleased with all of the work that went in during the season as they progressed and became more consistent.
Vikings should also be pleased that after a rocky start, they were also able to improve to the extent that they were able to come from third to play in this last final of the season.
- Bill Cole