MANGOPLAH-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes enhanced their reputation as the premier netball team within AFL Riverina with a dominant grand final victory on Saturday.
The Goannas backed up their Riverina League title from last year with a 37-26 victory over Wagga Tigers in the AFL Riverina Championship grand final at Robertson Oval.
Aside from a five-minute patch to end the opening quarter, MCUE dominated proceedings to cap off an undefeated season with an impressive grand final victory.
MCUE coach Marie Hope was delighted to end an excellent season with a premiership.
"Ecstatic to get the result, it wasn't an easy game," Hope said.
"There were a lot of different factors that went into it, we had players in different positions that we hadn't even played them in all year.
"I'm really just super proud of the girls and how they got over the line."
MCUE started the grand final well before Tigers dominated the finish to the opening quarter.
Tigers scored seven consecutive goals at one point to go into quarter-time 12-9 in front.
From there, it was virtually all MCUE.
Defenders Vashti Muller and Shannon Russell got right on top, while Rachael Addison worked hard through the middle of the court.
It led to more opportunities in attack for the Goannas and they made the most of them.
"I think to be honest our defenders just ground it out and they just kept digging in and digging in and gave us the opportunities for us to get enough to creep that little bit further forward," Hope said.
"It probably wasn't quite until the last quarter where our attack actually had some flow and just a little bit of confidence and quick transition in getting it into the circle."
MCUE turned the three-goal quarter-time deficit into a three-goal lead at the main break.
A 10-goal third helped the Goannas establish a commanding nine-goal advantage at three-quarter-time.
The lead grew to as much as 15 goals before Tigers managed a few goals in succession just before full-time.
Russell was awarded best on court for the Goannas, for her job at goal defence, and Hope said the role she and Muller played in the win could not be understated.
"They were just phenomenal," she said.
"In all honesty, we wouldn't have got over the line without them today. They were turning over so much, we weren't even getting as many opportunities to convert today as we normally would and that's also credit to Tigers defensive pressure but they were just absolute heroes."
Hope is in her fourth season at MCUE and said this year's team was the best she's been involved with.
"Absolutely, pound for pound. On an individual level as much as a group," she said.