New Kids Aces won their fourth Wagga netball premiership in the last five years by defeating the minor premiers Uranquinty 50-45 on Saturday.
While spectators put up with bitterly cold winds to watch the match, it didn’t take long for the teams to warm up in a good display of netball.
Aces’ young goal attack, Flynn Hogg, was the first to score in the match and with fellow shooter, Lisa Frow, right on target, the Aces were first to take a decided lead in the game.
Fed beautifully by Mikaela Cole, the Aces’ shooters shot their team to a five-goal advantage at the first break.
As suspected, Aces’ coach, Naomi Hocker, played her ace, Rachael Addison at goal defence to play an attacking game on Uranquinty goal-scorer, Lana Duffy.
The move worked well again, with most of the scoring for Uranquinty done by Hannah Finemore.
Finemore, Tameka Scott and Grace Cornell worked hard for Uranquinty in the first term.
Uranquinty coach, Rosemary Clarke, introduced Elle Finemore and Abbey Lowe to the game at quarter time, replacing Brooke and Georgia Tillyard, while Hocker used Emma Kleine in place of veteran, Tracy Schulz-Cole for the second stanza.
Midway through the second quarter the Aces had built up to a 10-goal lead, but Uranquinty fought back in the latter part of the term to be seven goals behind at the long interval.
Frow followed her faultless shooting of the first term with seven from nine in the period, whilst Hogg continued to score from almost any position in the circle.
The personnel of Uranquinty was retained in the third quarter with Ella Finemore and Cornell swapping positions while Hannah Finemore switched shooting roles with Duffy.
Hocker chose to bring Lisa Reynoldson on as goal keeper and switched Podmore to wing defence at the start of the third.
Try as they might, the Uranquinty girls just couldn’t lower the margin to any fewer than six.
With a deficit of six to make up, Uranquinty had to be first to score in the last to give them hope, but it was the Aces who extended their lead to seven, and at one stage, eight, before Uranquinty finished well to reduce the final lead to five goals.
Hannah Finemore scored well again and finished the top-scorer in the match with 28 from 34.
Frow and Flynn shared the Aces’ scoring with 25 goals apiece, while Lana Duffy was held to 17 goals for the match.
It was heartache again for Uranquinty.
In their last 15 games they have lost only three times: last season’s grand final and both the semi-final and grand final of this year.
Nevertheless, they have youth on their side and don’t be surprised to see them in their third consecutive grand final in 2018.
For New Kids, it could, perhaps, be retirement for some; but, like the proverbial good wine, they seem to play as well as ever, despite ageing bodies.