Arawang are the 2018 Canterbury State League Premiers. The team set the benchmark for the season and did not disappoint their fans in the match that mattered.
Arawang created a small lead right from the beginning of the match and went into the first break with a 5-point lead. Arawang continued to build their lead and had a 12-point advantage at the half time break, which they held onto for the remainder of the match. Canberra never looked like clawing the lead back such was Arawangs dominance. The final score, Arawang by 12 points, 69-57.
For Arawang, Millie Bohem had an outstanding game at goal keeper and kept league sharp shooter, Nalani Makunde contained in the circle. At the other end, Arawang’s accurate shooting forced Canberra to change their defensive line combination several times in an effort to try and shut down the team of Fiona Morrissey and Jacoba Clough.
Coach Kim Symons said it was an amazing win and made it extra special as it was Captain Fiona Morrissey’s retirement game.
“This is absolutely amazing. We got off to a great start and the girls stuck to their game plan. To finish that strong was a dream come true. It is extra special as we have three players that are leaving us this season. Captain Fiona Morrissey is retiring and Jacoba Clough and Hayley Mason are moving interstate. We were really driven to do it for them as the girls have been playing together for about four years now.
Arawang are not strangers to Grand Finals, having made an appearance in 5 of the last six years. But have not taken the Premiership Cup home since 2014.
Symons said the Arawang community is why their teams have been so successful.
“This entire Arawang community is amazing to be a part of and we have a great support and amazing talent that come through. We had a similar team to last year, which we didn’t progress past the preliminary final, they were not as court smart and they have grown immensely which is why we have had the season we have.”
Caption Fiona Morrissey played her final State League game and was nervous but determined to get the win and finish on a high,
“The start was important for us and we knew we had to get out early and remain consistent was key. This team is so special as we have grown together and we finally nailed it. We are close and work as a team.
I was nervous, I knew we had the ability to do it and it was a really special to get the job done today.”
This was two grand final loses in a row for Canberra but you can bet they will bounce back again next year.
Arawang defeated Canberra 69-57