Ballarat Grammar has claimed its second Division One Girls Herald Sun Shield title after clinching a one-point victory over Methodist Ladies College (MLC) on Saturday.
Having secured its first Shield in 2014, the win sees Ballarat Grammar share the title with Hallam Senior College as the most successful girls school in the competition’s short history.
Progressing through to the big stage after impressive semi-final performances, both MLC and Ballarat Grammar were keen to stamp their authority on the competition, having faced each other in the past two Grand Final appearances.
Lining up at Craigieburn’s RAMS Arena, Ballarat jumped out of the blocks early to pile on three goals in the opening term and establish a solid 20-point lead.
Yet the reigning premiers fired back in the second quarter to stem the flow of Ballarat goals and create scoring options to bring the margin back to just 15-points heading into the main break.
Keen to capitalize on their momentum from the first half, MLC’s defensive pressure went up a gear in the third term, restricting Ballarat Grammar’s entries inside 50.
Despite its efforts, MLC’s inaccuracy in front of goal kept Ballarat in the match with just 10-points separating the pair going into the final term.
With the game on the line, Ballarat found a way through MLC’s defence to produce a much needed goal to put their noses in front in the last quarter.
Yet MLC wouldn’t lie down, booting two majors to close the gap to just a kick in the dying minutes of the game. However the fairy-tale finish wasn’t to be for MLC. The final margin Ballarat Grammar 5.3 (33) to MLC 4.8 (32).
The win is the second one-point Grand Final victory in the Herald Sun Shield Division One competition in as many weeks, with Geelong’s St Joseph’s College taking home the Boys Shield title over former reigning premiers Ballarat’s St Patrick’s at the MCG last month.
Ballarat Grammar captain Rene Caris’ performance earned best on ground honours for her side, while Annabel Sutherland’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed, awarded with a Best on Ground medal for MLC.
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Ballarat Grammar 3.2 4.3 4.3 5.3 (33)
MLC 0.0 2.0 2.5 4.8 (32)
Ballarat Grammar: Nickesha Jones 4, Lou Lou Jones 1.
MLC: Chelsea McRae 2, Annabel Sutherland 1, Anna Hayes 1
Ballarat Grammar: Rene Caris, Nickesha Jones, Amy Jackson, Mimi Arnott, Laura Booth, Ella Bibby, Samantha Turner.
MLC: Annabel Sutherland, Daisy Bateman, Anna Hayes, Lara Edmanson, Cassidy Gould, Sophie Anghie, Lily Goss
Best on Ground Award Winners:
Ballarat Grammar: Rene Caris (Captain)
MLC: Annabel Sutherland