Netball dynasty grows

YARRAWONGA yesterday showed why it is the most dominant team in Ovens and Murray history.

The Pigeons crushed Wangaratta Rovers 57-35 to claim their fourth premiership in a row and fifth overall.

The signs were ominous for a nervous Rovers side early in the decider.

A simple catch was fumbled mid-court by the underdog and within seconds, attacking genius Steph Tyrell scored to give Yarrawonga a dream start.

Tyrell’s partner in crime, Bridget Tait, scored moments later and Rovers could have been excused for thinking they were in a bad dream.

That soon turned into a nightmare as the Pigeons cruised to a 7-1 lead with plenty of time still left in the first quarter.

At the first break Yarrawonga led 20 to 5 and even the most upbeat Rovers’ optimist would have conceded that the match was done and dusted.

Led by coach Jess Clarke, the Rovers fought back in the second quarter, outscoring Yarrawonga 11 goals to nine.

But it wasn’t enough, the Pigeons cruising through the rest of the game to win comfortably.

In the grips of defeat post-match, Clarke said what every­one was thinking about the Pigeons.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a side like you,” she said.

The same could be said of best on court, Tyrell.

In her 150th game, Tyrell toyed with the Rovers defenders, shooting 33 goals from 43 shots.

With her trademark non­chalance, she potted goals from any­where and everywhere in the circle, as did Tait who finished with 24 goals.

Clarke was best for Rovers with 26 of her team’s 35 goals but she lacked support.

Yarrawonga coach Lauren Mulquiney admitted relief had been the overwhelming feeling after the final whistle.

“It’s relief I suppose and 

excitement,” she said.

“I’m so proud of how our younger players held themselves at the start of the game.

“There’s been a core group of 10 or 12 girls that have stuck together and we were able to put a team together at the end of the year to do the job.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Clarke said her side didn’t handle the big stage as well as it could have.

“We always knew we had to get off to a really good start to have a chance today,” Clarke said.

“We’ve got a few experienced players but all in all we’re quite a young side.

“I think we could have probably handled the occasion a bit better but in saying that there was only seven goals in it after quarter-time.”