An emotional The Rock-Yerong Creek coach Emily O’Leary dedicated the A grade premiership victory to her late father.
O’Leary paid tribute to Mark ‘Grunter’ O’Leary after holding off a late challenge from North Wagga to take a 41-36 victory on Saturday.
He was part of the reason O’Leary, her sister Sarah and Britt Fitzsimmons moved back to their junior club following success with the Saints.
Fighting back tears during the presentation, O’Leary was over the moon to have taken TRYC back to the top
“It a massive thing and I have never won a A grade grand final for The Rock and my dad would be so proud of me,” O’Leary said.
“He passed away four years ago but he would be so proud as we came back to the club and the club it is what we love.”
O’Leary was thrilled her team’s performance.
“We came out strong and really wanted it,” she said.
“Saints did come back so hard and we were just lucky to hold on.
“I’m am proud of my girls.”
The Magpies fired out of the blocks in a low scoring first quarter.
They took a 11-6 lead after the first break and really extended that in the second.
With Finemore and Jen Preddy combining well in the shooting circle for the Magpies they scored 15 goals in the second stanza to take a dominant lead into half-time.
With North Wagga down 26-14 after two quarters, coach Denise Downes brought herself goal shooter with Kaitlin Staines coming off and the dangerous Jordan Barrett moving to goal attack.
The changes helped the Saints mount a second half comeback.
They close to gap to eight at the last change and continued to make inroads.
Despite TRYC pushing the margin back to 10 points during the quarter, North Wagga kept on fighting.
They even reduced to gap to four goals and had the centre pass to make it three before an uncharacteristic miss by Barrett.
It gave the Magpies a chance to take the title away from the Saints and that is exactly what they did.
O’Leary said they were determined to hold on to their advantage.
“We just didn’t want to let it go,” she said.
“We worked too hard in that first half to let it go.
“We were lucky enough to get that big lead and hold on.”
Sister Sarah was named best on court in the grand final for her defensive performance.
While ending a 12-year premiership drought in the top grade, the celebrations were put on hold for a little bit.
With Magpies teammates Rachel Addison and Finemore turning into rivals for the Wagga netball grand final later in the evening, O’Leary said the team was going down to support them both.