Mater Dei have retained their Shipard Shield crown for another year after seeing off a spirited Kooringal outfit 4-0 on Wednesday night.
Henwood Park star Brooke Gayler was the chief destroyer for Mater Dei, bagging a hat trick with the captain’s armband while Lake Albert’s Ingrid Weir also found the net.
Mater Dei coach Genelle Keough was thrilled with the convincing result.
“They’re a wonderful group of girls who really get along with each other,” Keough said.
“There’s plenty of talent in that group and they’re an easy side to coach.”
The win keeps Keough’s perfect coaching record intact after steering the side to last year’s win but this year’s result was far from a foregone conclusion.
Kooringal looked the most likely to draw first blood as both sides struggled for rhythm in a scrappy opening five minutes.
Jorja Pinney kept the Mater Dei defence on notice with a few early darts before the defending premiers settled into the game.
A Gayler long ball saw Mater Dei emerge from their defending half for the first time and Tori Uhr almost made them pay on the counterattack in the 4th minute.
Kooringal striker Sophie Crouch then gave the yellow team their first real chance on their own counterattack, beating the keeper with a scything run before her trickling shot was run down.
Mater Dei were quick to respond, working their way back into Kooringal territory and laying seige to the goal square with a pair of corners.
Undettered, Kooringal hit back through two-time Tiffany Selby Medal winner Jen Woodbury, who was just centrimetres from putting her side ahead after a Mackenzie Gough error.
However, it was Mater Dei who opened the scoring in the most unlikely circumstance imaginable.
A Gayler corner in the 14th minute missed everyone, including the keeper to shave the goal line, register the first score of the night and hand Mater Dei a 1-0 lead.
Ingrid Weir doubled Kooringal's deficit with another goal just three minutes later, handing Mater Dei a 2-0 lead they carried in to the break.
The reigning champions upped the ante after oranges with Hannah Stevens and Tilly Pollard driving Mater Dei ahead.
Gayler continued to show her class with a pair of shots before finally breaking through for her second goal in the 42nd minute.
The Mater Dei captain found the net again just nine minutes later, completing her hat-trick with the aid of a goalkeeper error to put her side out to an unassailable 4-0 lead.
“i thought the girls were brilliant tonight. They worked together really well on the field and they’ve got some excellent combinations,” Keough said.