Montmorency 1 were at their magnificent best in the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 1 women’s Grand Final, breaking the game open in the second half to defeat Banyule by 28 points at Preston City Oval.
The Magpies were the team to beat all season with just one loss in the 2023 campaign and it was clear to see why after half time, with a five-goal to two second half securing a 6.13 (49) to 3.3 (21) triumph.
While it proved to be a strong performance, Montmorency were still in a vulnerable position at the main break, kicking just one goal from 10 scoring shots.
Their opponents in Banyule only managed six scoring shots for the day themselves, but it was a more than respectable effort for a side that was promoted to the top flight after Round 4 and held their own throughout the season to reach their first Grand Final.
Emily Beanland was simply incredible for the premiers and was rewarded with the best on ground medal. Her efforts in the ruck gave the Magpies midfielders every chance of surging forward, while her marking ability also standing out.
Madeline Gallagher had an excellent performance all around the ground as did Grace Robinson who finished as the only multiple goalkicker for the afternoon with two majors.
For Banyule, Heidi Cummins held her own in the ruck despite Beanland’s hit outs to advantage, while Candice Dyson was busy in the midfield and had an outstanding work ethic.
Olivia Perillo also had some great moments and was one of Banyule’s most lively performers in the decider.
Both sides were desperate to be the first to notch up a score and after some strong attacking pressure from Montmorency, they would be the ones to find the big sticks first courtesy of Grace Robinson, who kicked truly from her set shot.
The Magpies dominated territory but only managed that one goal for the term, with a behind from Banyule on the siren seeing the margin stick to seven points at quarter time.
In the second quarter, Montmorency continued to create opportunities, but it was apparent that their accuracy on goal was letting them down.
Against the run of play, the Bears capitalised as Brieanna Musgrave, who was coming off a four-goal performance in last week’s preliminary final, took advantage of a free kick to kick her side’s first for the match.
The contest swung back in Montmorency’s favour, but their finishing left a lot to be desired as they closed out the term with a run of five straight behinds.
It was enough to push their lead to eight points by half time, but it left the door ajar for Banyule to keep things competitive coming out of the main break.
With the start of the third, it looked as though the minor premiers’ inaccuracy would come back to haunt them as Banyule’ Samantha Temple nailed a set shot five minutes into the quarter which reduced the margin to two points.
But the Bears couldn’t gather any momentum from the goal, and it would prove to be the closest they got to the Magpies for the rest of the match.
Throughout the next ten minutes, Montmorency quickly regained control but again could only find one more behind to go out to 1.10 for the game.
But as time on was approaching, the minor premiers finally created some scoreboard pressure, with majors thanks to Georgia Thomson and Chiara Scuderi within the space of a minute, taking their advantage out to 15 points at three quarter time.
The final term started with Grace Robinson, running hard with the footy inside 50 before her shot just missed to the right for another Montmorency behind.
But all it did was delay the inevitable, as goals from Shelby Coall and Taylah Harris all but sewed up the match six minutes into the quarter.
The scoring dried up through the middle patches of the term but with a 28-point advantage, it didn’t bother the Magpies.
To Banyule’s credit, they didn’t put their heads down and were able to produce some scoring chances late in the game, highlighted by Olivia Perillo who kicked a nice goal.
But it was the minor premiers who had the final say, as Grace Robinson strolled through and delivered her second and the Magpies sixth goal of the game, ensuring the premiership cup would be heading to Montmorency Park in 2023.