Lower Plenty was crowned the Division 2 under-19 premier after a comfortable 39-point victory over Diamond Creek at Preston City Oval.
In a season that saw them win all but one game, the Bears continued their dominance into the grand final, kicking six goals to one in the second half to reward their hard work with a premiership.
Despite their astounding finals journey to reach a second-consecutive grand final from fourth place, the Demons were outplayed and managed only one major in the 7.6 (48) to 1.3 (9) result.
Kyle Keenan was the well-deserved winner of the best on ground medal after playing a vital role in Lower Plenty’s powerful display, while co-captain Ned Waters’ three goals were pivotal in a low-scoring game.
Kieran Brick was one of Diamond Creek’s better players in defeat, producing some outstanding individual efforts when the game was tight throughout the first half.
With slippery conditions under foot, a tough but even contest followed throughout the first term.
Diamond Creek looked to have the upper hand early with plenty of inside 50 entries, however the defending premier couldn’t capitalise and failed to register a score in the first term.
Lower Plenty was slow to start but began to look the more dangerous towards the end of the quarter, with a late rushed behind its advantage at quarter time.
The Bears were given a dream start to the beginning of the second quarter as Waters was able to reward his strong tackling by converting his first major for the morning, four minutes in.
Despite the rain making for a slippery football, the Bears were still managing to take impressive contested marks, while the Demons were struggling to string together passages of play.
Lower Plenty looked the dominant team during the second quarter but could only manage 1.1 for the term as it took a lead of eight points into the main break.
Still within striking distance, Diamond Creek looked to find its first major for the morning to really put the pressure on Lower Plenty at the beginning of the third quarter.
But it was the Bears that continued their form from the second quarter, as goals from Lachlan McLeod, William Reddrop and Waters extended their margin to 25 points.
Despite the difficulties in front of it, Diamond Creek was resilient and managed to take some momentum into three quarter time after a 50m penalty saw Mitchell Elzink kick the Demons’ first goal and reduce the margin to 19 points at three quarter time.
Lower Plenty saved its best quarter for last, completely shutting Diamond Creek out of the game with a strong defensive performance.
The Bears also managed to do damage when opportunities presented in attack as they put some icing on the cake in the final 20 minutes.
Waters’ third goal, as well as majors to McLeod and Phillip Warton helped the Bears on their way to their first under-19 premiership since 2011.
Final score: Lower Plenty 7.6 (48) def Diamond Creek 1.3 (9)