LAKE Albert reserve grade skipper Aaron Thomas reckons he'd "rather lose to Hanwood" than not have them in the competition.
The minor premiers were made to work hard before securing a 2-0 grand final win over the Griffith newcomers at Equex Centre on Sunday.
The Sharks, who won this year's minor premiership, finally broke the deadlock in the 64th minute when a Mitch Tinnock through ball put Kyle Harrison one-on-one with the keeper, and he made no mistake.
In the 82nd minute Lake Albert found an insurance goal when Matthew Hof slotted it into the top right corner after a scramble in the box.
"I've loved having Hanwood in the comp, they're our toughest competitor," Thomas said.
"I don't know why people wouldn't want them in the comp, it's best for our development.
"You want to play against the best. I'd rather lose to Hanwood than not have them in the comp."
Thomas made special mention of youngsters Emilio Donebus, Jackson Manton, Isaac Rudd and Liam Bryder in his victory speech.
"They probably won't play in ressies this year, that's why we had to win now," Thomas said.
"Today they (Hanwood) probably dominated, but our defence held really strong as it has all year. That's been the difference."
Shark Chris Ayton was named man of the match, while teammate Ben Camilleri took out the player of the year gong.