A SHOT at grabbing a place in the club’s history awaits Dennington’s netballers this Saturday.
A 44-34 preliminary final win over Panmure has lifted the Dogs into a grand final showdown against Merrivale.
The lure of victory in the season’s decider will be strengthened for the Dennington players as the Dogs have never won an A grade premiership.
Dennington coach Josie Bolden said her team would speak about the chance it has to make history for the club.
“Playing in a grand final is great for the club and the girls. It is a dream to play in a grand final,” Bolden said.
“When you play for a club it is all about making friends, which we have done with a very close group of girls, and sometimes you get the chance to create some history as well.
“We now have a chance to do something which will create a memory that will last forever. It is very exciting for the club.”
Dennington is the only team to defeat Merrivale this season with a surprise upset in the final round of the home-and-away season.
Bolden acknowledged Merrivale rested some key players that day but she said an earlier clash between the two teams gave Dennington plenty of confidence going into the grand final.
“The first time we played them this season (in round nine) we only lost by eight goals and we have improved a lot since that game.
“All year we have been the underdogs so we are happy to be that again. We are a very tight-knit bunch and very determined to do well for the club.”
The foundation for the preliminary final victory was laid down in a second quarter breakaway by Dennington.
The Dogs led 10-9 in a tight first quarter but were able to extend that to 22-18 by half time, a small but significant break.
Regular Panmure goal shooter Brooke Rudezky was unavailable for the game, meaning star defender Emma Roache had to go forward for the Bulldogs.
With such a drastic change to the structure at both ends of the court the Bulldogs were always going to find it tough to bridge the gap.
Dennington continued to play strong netball in the second half and through an even spread of contributors widened the gap to 10 goals at the final whistle.
Panmure playing coach Mandy Condon was shattered after the loss but found time to praise her team and the opposition for their efforts.
“They opened that gap on us and it was just too hard for us to get it back,” Condon said.
“We tried everything we could but credit to them, they had the better of the crunch times during the game.
“I am very proud of our girls.
“They played with a lot of conviction today and we were just beaten by a better team on the day.”