The third has long been known as the championship quarter and Orange City Craig Harvey Mechanical proved exactly why in Saturday's Toyota Cup grand final, with the penultimate term proving the difference as they roared to a 12th consecutive title.
Inspired by a lockdown performance from their defensive end the Lions pulled away from grand final challengers Life Studio in the third quarter, fighting for a four-goal three-quarter-time lead after the two sides had been deadlocked at the first two breaks.
Although Life Studio never went away and cut the gap to just one with eight minutes to go the Lions consolidated and continued defending staunchly to eventually win 39-35 and extend their incredible premiership streak to an even dozen.
I'm sure we'll lose one eventually, I'm glad it wasn't this one though.Orange City coach Cindy Gilchrist
"I'm sure we'll lose one eventually, I'm glad it wasn't this one though," Orange City coach Cindy Gilchrist smiled.
"We always strive to build into a game because you're never going to win a game in the first quarter, we're always working towards quarter one, then two, then three, then four," Orange City coach Cindy Gilchrist said.
"We always look to take advantage in the third though and we did that, which is great, we consolidated well in the fourth and here we are now, we've won again.
"Honestly I didn't think we'd get there [on Saturday] though, my gut feeling said otherwise because Life Studio are such a good side and (player-coach) Mardi (Aplin) had them firing and playing fantastic netball, and it was a great game."
Gilchrist pointed to her defensive guns in Caitlyn Harvey, Katie Matthews and Sarah Thorley as the catalyst for that third-quarter blitz, and the latter was duly awarded the newly-named Norma Corse Most Valuable Player of the Final medal as a result.
While they shone brightest in that third term they locked Life Studio down for most of the clash, consistently forcing turnovers and only allowing the navy and lime bibs 49 shots.
Aplin and Aurella White combined to shoot at over 70 per cent from those attempts, but the Lions' defensive pressure was good enough to give the likes of centre Tegan Dray and wing attack Brooke Burcher enough control to set up 69 scoring opportunities for their side.
That told on the scoreboard, and while the Lions' overall percentage of just 56 might leave a little to be desired on face value, it was more to do with Life Studio's also-impressive defensive performance than anything else.
"Katie, Caitlyn and Sarah were just outstanding, the defensive effort was just incredible especially in that third quarter and it made a big difference in the end," Gilchrist said.
"It was difficult for our shooters today because Life Studio made it tough for them and we chopped and changed a little bit, but we did enough and I couldn't be prouder of everyone."
That was something Dray, also the side's skipper, echoed in her post-game speech, how proud she was of her troops' effort. It was a big one too, considering Life Studio had been "the benchmark" all season and were the minor premiers.
Dray also said she'd certain Aplin's young outfit will be better for the grand final experience, something the Life Studio player-coach agreed with. Outside her, Emily Brisbane was the only Life Studio player to have featured in a grand final before.
And, as Aplin said, there's never any shame in admitting defeat at the hands of a better side on the day.
"There's definitely no shame in being beaten by a better side on the day, and Orange City were that [on Saturday]. They're a grand final side through-and-through, and 12 premierships in a row is just a remarkable achievement," Aplin said.
"I'm incredibly proud of my girls and we'll hopefully come back bigger and better next year but Orange City just keep going, don't they? We'll just have to go back to the drawing board and keep trying to figure out a way to beat them."
They're a grand final side through-and-through, and 12 premierships in a row is just a remarkable achievement.Life Studio player-coach Mardi Aplin
Thanks to both sides' strong defensive performances the decider wasn't a game that ever reached any great heights as a spectacle, although the scoreline ensured the bumper crowd was on the edge of their seat throughout.
The biggest lead of the game was Orange City's six-goal buffer leading into the final two minutes, and the lead actually changed hands six times throughout the contest.
Life Studio held it first, shooting to a 3-nil lead after Aplin nailed her first trio of attempts on goal, but the Lions drew level and then took the lead at the seven-minute mark.
The two sides traded blows throughout the rest of the first quarter and throughout the second, they were locked at 8-all at the first break and 17-all at the second.
Life Studio drew first blood in the third quarter young shooter Aurella White - who was the best of the attacking players numbers wise, nailing 15 of 19 to shoot at 78 per cent - before the Lions took control.
With defensive pressure being turned into attacking opportunities, Kristin Zinga and Maddie Cole were afforded 25 shots on goal in the third quarter to Aplin and White's 11, and pushed the Lions to a four-goal lead at the final break as a result.
After a few changes heading into the final quarter Life pulled back to one at 32-31 with eight minutes to go, but Orange City landed the next three goals to virtually put the game to bed, and held on from there.
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