The Yarra Junior Football League withstood a last quarter challenge from the SEJFL to take out the Victorians Youth Girls Championships for 2015.
With both sides finishing their preliminary round matches undefeated, the Grand Final at Central Reserve in Glen Waverley was built up to be a cracker.
|Image provided by AFL Vic.|
It would take eight minutes before either side got the board, when Isabella Gietzmann broke through for Yarra to kick her 11th goal of the championships, improving on last year’s total haul of eight.
However, they wouldn’t hold the lead for long, as South East’s best on ground, Georgia Gee hit back six minutes later to help her side take a one-point advantage going into quarter time.
The see-sawing match would swing back the reigning champions way in the second term, when Katie Lynch kicked true at the 10-minute mark.
As Gemma Legioia and Kate Tanner began to dominate for Yarra, the girls from the South East could not find a way goal. The margin stood at seven points at half-time.
The next 20 minutes would be a pure arm wrestle between the best of the best; as South East’s Chloe Anderson, Emily Browning and Ruby Clayton rallied, they were equally measured by the class of Charlotte Mikic and Julia Halaseh for Yarra.
Only three behind would be added as the Yarra Juniors would take a 10-point lead into three-quarter time, holding their opponents scoreless for two consecutive quarters.
With their backs against the wall and staring at defeat, changes were made and caution thrown to the wind by the South East Juniors coaching staff, paying immediate reward.
Less than two minutes into the final quarter, Samara Hazelden kicked truely and it was game on, with the challengers taking all the momentum.
Two minutes later, Courtney Jones kicked her 10th goal of the championships to give the South East Juniors a slender lead two-point lead with 15 minutes left on the clock.
History has proven time and time again that when ‘on the ropes’, champions respond, and the Yarra Juniors did just that.
Peppering away at goal, they kicked three behinds in a row to snatch a one-point lead. It wasn’t until the 13-minute mark that Emily Harley would got her hands on the ball and kicked straight to seal the deal.
The Yarra Juniors ran out victors by seven points and Victorian Youth Girls Champions for a third year in a row.
South East Juniors (3.1.19) defeated by Yarra Juniors (3.8.26)