It went to extra-time, but Dela Oscars has continued its domination of The Athlete’s Foot Cup by winning a 15th title in 16 years.
Dela Oscars defeated Wendouree, as it did last year, by six goals in the grand final – but it was a much tighter affair than that.
Wendouree took it right up to the defending champions, particularly in the early stages, taking a five-goal lead into half-time.
But the premiers fought back which made for a tense final quarter.
The two sides exchanged goals as neither could shake the other.
With 16 seconds remaining it looked as if history would repeat itself as Dela Oscars held a one-goal advantage and held possession.
But Wendouree managed to regain possession via an umpiring decision and it swiftly moved the ball down the court to end in the safe hands of star goal attack Cynna Kydd with five seconds remaining, she calmly converted as the whistle followed, signalling two seven-minute periods of extra-time.
Whether it was the winning culture, an element of fatigue or just outstanding game play when it mattered, Dela Oscars lifted and got better the deeper it got in extra-time, with three minutes left Dela had extended its lead behind five goals and with that saw belief turn to hope in the Wendouree camp.
The champions did what champions do, stepped it up when it counted most and the final whistle brought elation, and relief, to a Dela Oscars group that is no stranger to success.
Captain Georgia Cann was extremely pleased with how the girls performed under the final quarter pressure and in particular the extra-time period.
“I think we were really consistent and in the extra-time I thought we really adapted the mindset of ‘right, 14 more minutes to go then it’s over’ and everyone just gave it everything they had,” Cann said.
“It can go either way, and sometimes it’s a bit of the luck of the draw. (But) once we were able to get a couple of turnovers and a couple of goals, that lead for us in the second part of extra-time was really important for us.”
Cann praised her team for another quality season and said it was a great reflection on the club, even more so given the success it had across the whole night – winning each division.
Cann added how great it was to be a part of such a high-standard competition.
Emma Farrell was judged best on court for her outstanding display under the goals.
Earlier in the night, Dela T Birds defeated Eureka in the Premier Reserve grand final to take out the Laffey Shield, prevailing 44-41. While in the Pride Academy 17/Under Championship Dela Vixens proved too strong for Brown Hill, winning 53-42.