BAROSSA District claimed its first Barossa, Light & Gawler senior one netball premiership in 10 years on Saturday, defeating Kapunda by two goals after the match went to extra time.
The Bombers and Bulldogs went to war early, but it was the latter who took the ascendancy into the first break by four goals.
However, Barossa soon hit trouble as star goalkeeper, and reigning association senior one best and fairest, Zoe Hoffrichter was forced from the court with an Achilles injury.
To cover the loss, Barossa coach Roz Fraser moved regular goalie Lisa Bowman into ’keeper, and she lifted to the occasion.
The Bombers found their way back into the game in the second term, and cut the deficit to two goals at the main change.
Barossa struggled to find answers in the third quarter, as Kapunda dominated play to take a two-goal lead into the final term.
In a surprising move, Fraser shifted Lisa Wilson into goal attack, which paid dividends.
The Bulldogs struck back, but the scores were left tied at 38-all at the final whistle, meaning extra time was played.
Fraser said she was confident in her girls going into extra time because of how they were playing.
“The girls were good, we had been mentally prepared,” she said.
“We were focused from the time we got there, it was business as usual; we were always focused on the current 15 minutes, then the next.”
After back-and-forth play, through two periods of extra time, the Bulldogs finally got their hands on the premiership cup.
Fraser was delighted after the final whistle.
“It feels fantastic,” she said.
“It’s probably a bit sweeter because we hadn’t beaten them all year.
“Going into extra time as well, we showed that the two best teams were there.”
Fraser said she had tried to motivate her girls ahead of the preliminary final, and it continued onto Saturday.
“In the preliminary, I showed the girls a motivational video and this week I said to them about what to do.
“I didn’t need a video this week, I spoke about how they feel about being in this position.
“Every girl had their say, and the one common denominator was how they felt about each other – they were team-mates, and friends off court.”
Fraser said she felt for Hoffrichter following her injury, but couldn’t speak higher of her team-centred attitude.
“She was devastated, but the first thing she said to me at the end of the game…was sorry that she couldn’t finish the game for me,” she said.
“For me, it showed how committed they were, and how much they wanted to win for each other.
“I’m really happy for the whole team, the work they’ve put in is really hard.
“I’m really pleased for the club, it’s been a long time coming.”