Seagulls deliver when it matters
By David Nagel
Tooradin-Dalmore coach Kelly Andrews will have a special story to share with her newest family member when she looks back on the 2018 A Grade premiership victory over Cranbourne at Edwin Flack Reserve on Saturday.
“You were born exactly one week before we won back-to-back premierships in 2018,“ Andrews will be able to tell her new son Theodore after the Seagulls confirmed their ranking as the best team in SEFNL with a dominant 52-21 victory over the Eagles.
Andrews and her husband Ben welcomed their first child into the world just seven days prior to the biggest game of the season, making preparations for the grand finale a little difficult.
But a well-drilled team of stars took preparations into their own hands and delivered magnificently on the day.
”There was no message from me this week, I had a baby during the week so the girls have basically ran their own sessions and just proved what a committed and great unit they are,” Andrews said after the match.
“I didn’t have to do a lot on grand final day because the girls are all well drilled and the work had already been done.”
The Seagulls were red-hot favourites heading in to the match, with Cranbourne exceeding all expectations by making it through to the grand final from fourth place on the ladder. But the build up of momentum had Andrews on edge heading into the match.
“I’m very happy with how today went because Cranbourne had defeated Doveton, Narre Warren and Beaconsfield and have been playing some great netball of late,” Andrews said.
“I am so impressed with Cranbourne and where they have come from. To lose a player like Alannah Hardy, who has always tore us up and is a great player, and still make it through to the grand final is an amazing effort.
“They had some injuries and had a tough road to get here so maybe that played a part in the final result today as well.”
Andrews said it was hard to put a finger on what made her team so great, but said hard work and honesty had certainly played their part.
“I can be quite demanding, but these girls never fail to give me what I ask for,” she said.
”They work really hard on their fitness and skills and we all get along, we’re all great friends, but we can be brutally honest with each other when we need to be.
“There’s just a really good balance and very good dynamic about this team at the moment.”
Andrews was thrilled for her whole team but made special mention of Tara Smith who missed last year’s premiership win – ironically by also having a baby.
“Tara Smith is a great story, she played when we lost the first grand final in 2016 and then missed out last year through pregnancy,” Andrews said.
“She has worked really hard to get back into the team and I thought she dominated today which was really great to see.”
The premiership-winning coach also wanted to thank a few people for the efforts.
“First to the Tooradin-Dalmore Football Netball Club, the support you saw here today shows what a wonderful club we have and how much we mean to each other. I love everyone at the club, it’s so special.
“And my husband Ben, he has been a real trooper today and even had to do his first bottle feed. It’s been a really big week, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”
2018 SEFNL NETBALL GRAND FINAL RESULTS
TOORADIN-DALMORE 52 defeated Cranbourne 21
Best on Court: Jess Cox (Tooradin-Dalmore)
NARRE WARREN 47 defeated Beaconsfield 35
Best on Court: Amy Rae (Narre Warren)
BEACONSFIELD 30 defeated Tooradin-Dalmore 27
Best on Court: Miya Peterson (Tooradin-Dalmore)
DOVETON 24 defeated Tooradin-Dalmore 20
Best on Court: Erin Wolfenbuttel (Doveton)
17 Under Red
BERWICK 30 defeated Cranbourne 28
Best on Court: Allie Oakenfull (Cranbourne)
17 Under White
BEACONSFIELD 29 defeated Narre Warren 20
Best on Court: Jaimee Nelson (Beaconsfield)
15 Under Red
ROC 29 defeated Cranbourne 25
Best on Court: Mikayla Phillips (ROC)
15 Under White
CRANBOURNE 17 defeated Berwick 14
Best on Court: Kapri Leilee-Fatuleai (Cranbourne)
13 Under Red
PAKENHAM 25 defeated Berwick 18
Best on Court: Clair Sinfield (Pakenham)
13 Under White
BEACONSFIELD 22 defeated ROC 16
Best on Court: Miller Willis (Beaconsfield)