THEY say sometimes to win, you have to lose first.
The old adage rang true for Dennington on Saturday, with two years of past grand final losses driving its charge to a premiership.
The Sue Fleming-coached under 17 side reversed a six-goal deficit in the first term to pull off a nailbiting one-goal victory over Merrivale.
Fleming described the triumph as the perfect swansong.
"They deserve it. They've had two years of near-misses so for them to pull this off, it's fantastic," she said.
"For seven out of the 10, it's their last year playing together as they're top age so they'll branch off into other grades now.
"It was so nice for them to be able to get over the line."
Fleming revealed she always had faith her players could reverse the large first-quarter deficit and hailed their "never say die" attitude.
"They didn't stop. (Merrivale) got a significant jump on us at the start but they never hung their heads," she said.
'They had each other's backs and different players stretched themselves and had to come off but the girls who came on and filled that spot.
No one collapsed or caved on me. I always believed in them.Sue Fleming
"No one collapsed or caved on me. I always believed in them."
Bridie Smith and Zoe Fleming, who suited up as under 13s and climbed through Dennington's junior grades together, said the six-goal first quarter deficit brought out their best netball.
"We've worked very hard over the last few years. Having two losses and finally getting the result is so nice," Zoe said.
"I think the jump on us gave us the extra push to work even harder in that second and third quarter."