ROBIN Hood capped off their undefeated Orange Netball Association season with a grand final win on Saturday.
It is the fifth year in a row Robin Hood have claimed the division one premiership but the first time they have gone through a season without a loss.
But they had to do it the hard way.
LifeStudio Westoil came back from an 13-point deficit to only lose to Robin Hood by five goals, 41-36.
Robin Hood Neryl Manns said it was just as stressful as the one-goal victories her team has recorded over Westoil the previous three years.
“Every year we keep trying. Westoil keep coming back. They’re an awesome team,” Manns said.
The coach praised the efforts of her entire team in an exciting grand final.
“It was a great team effort from them all. It was just awesome,” she smiled.
It took Robin Hood a few minutes to settle into the game and Westoil were up 3-1 early.
When Robin Hood found their footing, they pulled away to a 12-6 lead in the first quarter.
They continued in the second period and were up 23-10 at half-time.
The Robin Hood defence of Emily Winterton and Narelle Walsh had the height advantage and were able to get rebounds over Westoil shooters Emily Callaway and Michelle Prestwidge.
Westoil made some positional changes in the second half with captain Mardi Aplin moving from defence to attack and her height helping in the shooters’ circle.
They scored the first three goals and were leading the third period 9-2 before Robin Hood scored three quick goals.
Still, Westoil claimed the third quarter 13-9 to close the overall score to 32-23.
Westoil kept firing in the final stanza but couldn’t close the gap quickly enough and Robin Hood came out on top.
Aplin said the team was rattled early when defender Kate Pratt had to pull out of the big game due to illness.
“That put us in a spin,” Aplin said.
“I was so proud of the girls and the way we fought back.
“We really capitalised on our strengths.”