Bulldogs break drought

Sale City defeated Woodside in the North Gippsland League A grade grand final.

Sale City defeated Woodside in the North Gippsland League A grade grand final.

SALE City's A grade netballers have won their first flag in 10 years, defeating Woodside in a heart-stopping final, 41-40.

Woodside were in front for much of the game, often leading by three points or more, but the young Bulldogs were determined.

At half-time, the Wildcats led 18-15, and 26-23 at three-quarter-time.

The experienced Woodside team were ruthless at every turnover, but Sale City put bodies on the line in slippery conditions to claw its way back.

It was a draw at full-time, 34-34, to the frustration of the Wildcats. It was the second time this finals series the sides had to go into extra-time.

The lead see-sawed for both halves of extra-time, as the huge crowd grew more vocal.

Sale City's defence were the stars; as co-captain Ruby Phillips and Faith Biddle kept up the pressure and made the most of turnovers.

Alleena Butcher, Sale City's centre, was magnetic, feeding the ball with impeccable timing to her forwards, however Woodside's defenders Jacqui Irving and best-on court Holly Jonston made them fight for every shot.

Turnovers were crucial as time ran out, and Woodside surged ahead to lead by two at the end of the first half, 38-36, finding the net exceptionally well.

After crawling back to 40-40, Sale City was too good in the end, slotting away a goal with two minutes to spare, its young players remaining calm until the whistle blew.

It was remarkable how well-matched the teams were, given their different styles and experience level.

It was not Heyfield's day in the lower grades, the powerhouse not able to come home with a single piece of silverware.

In B grade, Woodside defeated Heyfield 43-30, with the Wildcats' Brydie Hurrell best. Traralgon-Tyers United won the C grade premiership, defeating Heyfield 29-27, with league best-and-fairest Vicki Rogers named best-on-court.

TTU was no match for Sale City in D grade, going down 18-27, with Amanda Jackson named best.

Under 17 team of the year selection and best-and-fairest Faith Biddle took home two medals for the day, also playing in Sale City's 26-23 win against TTU in the under 17s, and was named best in that match.

Yarram won the under 15s against Heyfield, 34-29. Heyfield's Emily Finch was named best.

Gippsland Senior
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