THE Darling Range Netball Region (the Rangers) defeated the Coastal Sharks 46-38 in the WA Netball League 18s grand final at the State Basketball Centre last Friday.
Rangers finished the season in second position and won their way straight through to the final by beating the Southwest Jets in a hard- fought 43-38 match.
Coastals finished the season in fourth and won with victories over the Wheatbelt Flames in the first semi, 45-37, and over Southwest Jets, 44-34, sending them to their third grand final in a row.
The grand final was a tough encounter, with Rangers in front by two points at the first break after fine shooting by Rose Aryang and Emily Latham.
In the second quarter Coastals showed why they had won the past two finals, fighting every inch by clawing a Rangers’ five-goal lead to be within two goals midway through the term.
But a solid defence from Sunday Aryang and captain Casey Murphy repelled many an attack with timely touches and Casey Murphy with some amazing intercepts, with the help of strong drives up the court from the mid-court team of Kate Bunten, Bridgette Maxted and Tehya Reynolds- Harris. Rangers went to the half-time break with a hard-fought five-goal lead.
With a strong game plan, Rangers stretched their lead to 11 at one stage during the third term.
Coastals again fought back to be only down by seven, with the score 36-29 at the final break.
In the last quarter, the Rangers again came out strongly to lead by up to 12 goals, but never one to surrender, Coastals fought back.
But great attacking from the mid-court trio, some superb shooting and a rock solid defence under immense pressure forced Coastals to make unforced errors.
Towards the end of the quarter it went goal-for-goal with the Rangers in control to win the final by 8 goals.
Captain Casey Murphy was the MVP with a brilliant performance.
The team of Murphy, Emily Latham, Amy Delcaro, Bridgette Maxted, Kate Bunten, Amber Clemesha, Casey Clemesha, Rose Aryang, Sunday Aryang, Tehya Reynolds Harris, Jess Harmer, Jess Beaumont, Giorgia Kuljis, Abby Taylor and coach Lynn Gaye can take a well deserved rest after a hard fought season before trials in October-November for the 2016 season.