Down by as much as 10 goals in the last quarter, some Emily Mannix magic in the dying moments got us over the line and secured our spot in the big dance.
Mannix came out firing, collecting a handy deflection in the first 30 seconds of the game. Our defensive work was up with Kate Eddy and Liz Watson chiming in with a couple of intercepts while Rahni Samason proved to have a hot hand as we established a handy four goal lead midway through the first term. We maintained that pressure in attack with Mwai Kumwenda and Samason working nicely to combat the physicality of April Brandley and Tilly McDonell, as we crept out to a handy eight goal lead heading into quarter time.
GIANTS sparked back up in the second with Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer building the pressure to reduce the margin to five goals. But some Kate Moloney magic turned that around with the co-captain reeling in a couple of huge intercepts. The cogs started to turn in attack as we pushed back to our eight goal margin before consecutive super shots from the GIANTS saw them steal the lead at half time.
Kumwenda opened our account in the second half before a huge intercept from Eddy saw us level the scores. The momentum continued to swing back and forth as the GIANTS put the foot down, creating a six goal lead. Eddy continued to be a pest picking up some classy intercepts around circle edge but it was not enough as the GIANTS extended their lead to nine at the final break.
With one quarter left, Ruby Barkmeyer was injected into the action with her speed and movement causing headaches in the goal circle. Momentum started to swing back our way, nailing five goals in a row to reduce the deficit to just three goals. But it didn’t stop there with Samason re-entering the game in the final five minutes and not skipping a beat as we swooped in for an almighty win.
Head coach Simone McKinnis was thrilled with the win, and particularly the spirit the players showed in the final moments to run out with the win.
“I’m just over the moon, as you could see after the game what it meant to the girls. It was just a fantastic finish to that game. To be playing in a grand final, we’re just beside ourselves,” she said.
Our attention now turns to the Grand Final against West Coast Fever at RAC Arena in Perth on Sunday 3 July. Tickets will be available via Ticketek – more information here.