SOUTH Warrnambool coach Moira Thornton had twice as many reasons to celebrate the club’s first Hampden league netball premiership double yesterday.
Thornton was coach of both the club’s 14 and under and 16 and under teams which became the first in the competition’s short history to win both grades in the same year.
The Roosters closed out a memorable 14 and under season as premiers and champions with their 19-16 win against Warrnambool at Port Fairyyesterday.
Later, an injury-depleted Roosters line-up defeated Warrnambool 25-21 in the 16 and under match.
“It’s just amazing,” Thornton said of the double.
“I’m in absolute shock. The under 14s I thought all along, for me, they were the best team all year and for the under 16s to come up against it and pull that out was amazing.”
The 16 and under Roosters were forced to elevate four players from the earlier match to make up the numbers, such was their injury toll.
They lost centre Laura Keert and goal shooter Rosie Carlin to knee injuries in the final home-and-away match before inflicting Warrnambool’s first loss of the season in the second semi-final.
Yesterday, with Casey Anderson, Phoebe Thornton, Ella Thornton and Milly Monk called up for their second match of the day, they jumped Warrnambool, opening a 6-3 lead at quarter-time.
The margin was reduced to one at the end of the second and third terms but South goal attack, the league’s best and fairest winner Alice Carlin, was decisive in the final term.
“I think she played a great game,” Thornton said.
She said Alice and goal shooter Emily Thornton were a good pair inside the goal circle.
Alice was voted best on court by the umpires. Wing defence Bella Ivanecky was also good while Warrnambool was best served by goalies Molly Quadroy and Chelsea Smith.
South Warrnambool’s 16 and under win also made it back-to-back premierships for the club with Chelsea Hunt, Emilie Thornton, Alice and Elke Neave all part of last year’s triumph.
The 14 and under match didn’t follow the pre-game script. The undefeated Roosters trailed at every change — down by four goals at quarter-time, two at half and three-quarter-time — before launching a 6-1 final quarter that sealed the result.
“In the last quarter we just slowed it down and started to control the ball more,” Thornton said.
“The defenders got a few really crucial turnovers and then we converted them which makes a difference.”
Thornton said centre Casey Anderson was dominant, while Pheobe Thornton at goal defence and the versatile Milly Monk, who played at wing attack, goal attack and goal shooter, were impressive.
Casey was voted best on court by the umpires.