A STRAINED hamstring failed to stop Thurgoona star Alyce Parker from dominating the Bulldogs’ 52-point victory over Wodonga Raiders at Birallee Park on Sunday.
A clearly hampered Parker kicked three goals from the centre as her undefeated team jumped clear early and ran-out 9.11 (65) to 2.1 (13) victors.
The victory came 12 months after the Raiders defeated Thurgoona in the youth decider.
“It was great to get the job done this year," coach Tim Madden said.
“Obviously we didn’t quite get there last season so it was a great effort by the girls to put in all of the hard work.
“We were aware of what can happen in grand finals and we made a real focus of playing team football.”
They did exactly that.
With Parker thriving at the clearances, Thurgoona continually drove the ball out of the centre to lead by 16 points at the first change.
Sally Lynch, Kyra Jackson, Beth Knox, Kerryn McCauley and Emilee McPherson joined in the act as the Raiders found themselves under constant pressure.
Star defender Iilish Ross was the team’s runner after playing too many matches for Collingwood in VFLW
Madden said the standard had improved markedly on last season.
“It’s significantly better,” he said.
“Having Alyce, Iilish and Beck (Guglielmino) play in the comp helps but I think the improvement is coming from the junior girls coming through.
“It will only grow as the skills and knowledge get better.”
Madden said the AFLW-bound Parker set a fine example for her teammates.
“She was really good,” he said.
“She’s a bit sore because she has had a lot on but she just grits her teeth and gets the job done.
“Alyce had another great game.”
Parker will now turn her attention to an All-Australian under-18 match which is a curtain-raiser to the EJ Whitten Legends match in Adelaide.
“It was great to get the win especially off the back of last year,” Parker said.
“It serves us right for all the hard work we have had throughout the year.”
Wodonga Raiders had a fine player in Tenieka Bruce.
She played fullback and through the midfield and combined well with Jenna Mercer and Shannon Dale.
“The girls gave it everything,” Laverty said.
In the youth final, a strong start helped Murray Felines defeat Lavington by 14 points.
Emily Robinson kicked two early goals for the victors while ruck-rover Emily Nicholson received best afield honours.
Leela Rosser, Zali Spencer and Kaitlyn Robinson also turned in fine performances.