Ballarat Grammar has secured back-to-back Herald Sun Shield titles after a solid 23 point win over Melbourne Girls Grammar at the MCG on Sunday. Jake Morris reports.
Played as a curtain raiser to the Round 19 AFL clash between Adelaide and Collingwood, the Division One Senior Girls Grand Final match was set to be a close one, with both sides producing solid semi-final victories ahead of the decider.
From the opening bounce, it was evident the match was going to be hotly contested, with both sides struggling to dispose of the ball cleanly. Tackling pressure was immense and it wasn’t until a goal from Ballarat’s Jordyn Bone half-way through the first quarter for the deadlock to break.
Nyakoat Wuol’s work around the ball continued to cause trouble for her Melbourne Girls Grammar opponents in the second term, with a goal from Ballarat forward Jorja Hammond helping the reigning premiers hold a steady 15-point lead at the main break.
Melbourne Girls Grammar began to show some fire power in the third term, dominating around the ball in the midfield and giving their forward line the best opportunity to capitalise, but a strong Ballarat defence led by star Lauren Butler was able to halt the attack.
Another goal to Jordyn Bone pushed the margin out to 22 points at the final change, and despite a spirited fightback from Melbourne Girls Grammar in the last, Ballarat was able to hold them off and run out the match comfortable 23-point winners.
Ballarat trio Jordyn Bone, Amelia Monk and Jorja Hammond proved too strong for MGG up forward, with Bone kicking two goals and Monk and Hammond contributing single majors for the match.
Nyakoat Wuol was unstoppable throughout the midfield during the day, while Ella Bibby and best-on-ground award winner Lauren Butler caused headaches for their opponents in the 4.8 (32) to 1.3 (9) victory.
For Melbourne Girls Grammar, captain Olivia Vesley led from the front in a very impressive performance, teammate Holly Bate was a strong target up-forward for her side while Heidi Templeton, Eliza McNamara and Jasmine Cash were all standouts for the visitors.
Ballarat Grammar captain Amy Jackson said she was thrilled with the win, crediting her side’s persistence as a key factor in the victory.
“I’m really proud of the girls with their performance today, even though we had a number of injuries and knocks, we still managed to push through and get the win,” Jackson said.
“Lauren Butler was just amazing, Nyakoat (Wuol) was incredible for the whole match, Faith McKenzie rucks every week and she was great, and as always, Ella Bibby was outstanding.”
Despite the loss, Melbourne Girls Grammar head coach Angus Seller and assistant coach Ainslie Kemp were proud of their side’s efforts.
“We’re really proud of what the team did, irrespective of the result, we’re really happy with how they represented themselves and the school today,” Seller said.
“They’re pretty happy to have the opportunity to get out there, have some fun and play a game on the MCG, which not a lot of people are fortunate enough to do,” Kemp said.
The win sees Ballarat Grammar become the most successful Division One Senior Girls team in the history of the competition, taking its Herald Sun Shield tally to three premierships ahead of Hallam College on two.
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