By Helen Tatchell
Yellow and black was a dominant presence, as were the Antarctic weather conditions at Mars Stadium, at the Central Highlands Football and Netball Leagues Grand Final matches.
Unfortunately for Springbank they could only bring home one premiership from five games, the B-Grade netball collected the silver Cup in a 36-23 defeat over Hepburn.
It was an abrupt end for the 2019 season with Under 15 and Reserves football and the C and A Grade netball teams losing their games.
Dunnstown (13&Under) and Bungaree (17&Under) could only manage one finals team each, represented in the netball with both taking a loss against Carngham and Learmonth.
But the day really belonged to nearby neighbours Gordon, with a 100 per cent average for the day, two wins from two matches equals two Premiership shields.
The junior Under 15 and 18 football teams scored convincing victories over Springbank by 36-points and Buninyong by 38-points.
Darcy Frantz and Connor Ascough were honoured with Best on Ground performance medals. Connor was in his first year with the Eagles, after an earlier junior career at Darley.
A sea of green and gold fans commandeered a full section of the grandstand, happy with the wins that has not seen the Under 18s in a grand final since 2007.
The drought was a bit longer for the Under 15s, 1999 was there last victory, although a grand finalist in 2018, the boys were runners-up. 2019 has just been ‘two-true’ for the club.
League Coach of the Year Michael Anderson (Under 18s) would not believe the win until the final siren sounded.
“It is not over until the buzzer goes,” he said.
“I congratulate Buninyong on their efforts and a great game today, we have both had a good year,” Anderson said during grand final speeches.
“This is unbelievable, we have won a premiership!”
Coach of the Under 15s Travis Preston will now step aside, holding the reins for the last three years.
“I am hanging up my cap as I feel the players get sick of hearing the same voice over and over; win or lose last Saturday was my last as coach,” he said.
“Last year we made the grand final but were unsuccessful, and fortunately only had four players move up to Under 18s at the start of this season. We kept a lot of the same playing group and gained some good recruits and I was confident we would play finals this year.”
Preston said the boys, for the majority of the match, stuck to the game plan.
“There was a brief period in the third quarter where we waivered, however that was also due to the pressure being applied by Springbank.
“We had six separate goal kickers in this grand final match and that was part of this year playing high percentage football – not caring who kicked our goals as long as we were scoring, it didn’t matter who it was,” he said.
And the reality of playing and winning a Premiership?
“You always hope that you’ll make that last game for the season, but until you are there, then you realise it is a reality,” Preston concluded.