Yarrawonga has celebrated Lauren Mulquiney’s 300th club game with a 19-goal win over an improving Wangaratta.
Mulquiney was named in the Pigeons’ best in the 58-39 win.
“I’ve just been lucky over the years to be part of such a great club,” Mulquiney said.
“You know, the girls that have stuck around for a really long time, I’m not the only one to have played a lot of games, I suppose we’ve been lucky in that we’ve been able to engender a bit of loyalty.
“At the start we used to get beaten really badly, it’s been good to stick around and see the club turn it around.”
O and M netball started in 1993, with Mulquiney playing her first game just two years later.
The win over the Pies was her 233rd in A grade, with 64 in B and three in C.
The 36-year-old has four children, Grace 16, Stella 12, Edward, four, and Alex, one this year.
“Lauren’s fabulous for junior development at our club,” captain Annalise Grinter said.
“Before she plays every week, she takes seven teams from Yarrawonga to Wangaratta to play and we’ve been so lucky to have her.
“Lauren deserves every accolade she gets, and she’s still a very good player.
“She stepped back into B grade to coach while she had the two younger kids, but this year we said to her, ‘we want you back’.”
Mulquiney’s two eldest daughters play in Wangaratta.
“Ovens and Murray doesn’t have junior netball, apart from under 16s, so it gives us a chance to coach the juniors at 14 and 15, rather than having to re-teach them I suppose skills that we would like to have as fundamentals when they come and play at out club,” she said.
Yarrawonga went into the match unbeaten, while Wangaratta had impressed with only the one loss.
The home side led by only two goals to half-time, before setting up its win with a 17-nine third term.
“They’ve grown a lot since last time we played them,” Grinter said.
“Their strength was feeding into the ring and their young players really stepped up.
“They (Wangaratta) were exceptional today, they really took us to the next level out there.”
In the absence of Pigeons’ coach Bridget Cassar, recruit Gemma O’Sullivan starred with 32 goals.
“Gemma’s a GV (Goulburn Valley) player and she’s a fabulous asset,” Grinter said.
“We haven’t really had a goal attack for a few years, we had wings playing in there with Bridget and I think Gemma’s taken us to a new dynamic.
“We’ve got a goal attack that can shoot as many goals as our goal shooter.”
Abbey Jones scored 27, as did Wangaratta’s best Amanda Umanski.