LAVINGTON coach Aleisha Pendergast says last year’s cruel finals exit has had a “huge” influence on the Panthers this season.
Lavington was bundled out of the finals in straight sets last year after entering the business end of the season as the team to beat.
But the Panthers responded in devastating fashion, claiming the minor premiership and moving straight into the decider this time around.
Pendergast said there was no doubt last season’s heartbreak was still in the Panthers’ mind.
“It was fairly devastating last year,” Pendergast said.
“We thought we were definitely in with a chance.
“To have lost by a point in that final, against Rovers, was devastating.
“I think it’s probably been the one thing that’s spurred the girls on to make sure we didn’t make the same mistakes again.”
And while Pendergast said her side was thrilled to go one better and make the grand final, Lavington’s business was far from finished.
“We’re happy to get through but we’ve got another big game ahead of us,” she said.
“There was a bit of hype after last year and having missed out; it’s definitely been a driving force this year.”
Lavington will feature in all four netball grand finals on Sunday, with the senior football team the only Panthers’ squad to miss out.
“It’s an exciting time, it’s a great reward for our players and club,” Pendergast said.