NETBALL: Yaralla Falcons withstood a final-quarter Valleys Stars comeback to Senior 1A grand final in the Gladstone Netball Association.
Falcons' goal attack Susan Tulloch scored clutch goals in the final quarter as her team assured back-to-back premierships after a 30-25 win.
Yaralla Falcons' youngster Abbi Cooper was superb with timely intercepts and crucial hands that turned the ball over her team's way.
Coach Tracey Davis was elated after the decider and lauded the young guns.
"Basically what it is that the team has changed a lot from last year," she said.
"We have got a lot more juniors playing up this year and Abbi Cooper played amazing in that last quarter.
"We've got Keely (Dillon) and we've also got Eden (Johnson) and Samarah (Belton)."
Davis went on to say that the instructions were to not give away any penalties.
That was because no more than two goals separated the teams in the first three quarters.
Valleys' Brie Simpson was calm and composed with her shooting and scores were locked away at 7-all.
Yaralla Falcons Melanie Dyball was involved in everything through the middle part of the court.
It was too hard to pick a winner and the Stars held sway in the early stages of the final term when goal shooter Suzette Meirins goaled to put her team 24-22 ahead.
Davis said it was just a matter of being composed.
"Basically I wanted the girls just to focus to hold the ball and not lose it and the girls just played amazing," she said.
Davis lauded the efforts of Tulloch and Kate Turner when the heat was at its greatest.
"She (Turner) just played amazing, just coming in and out," she said.
"She knew when she needed to move out and open up become free so the girls can actually have another person to pass to."
Abbi said she was haunted from pre-grand final nerves.
"I though I was going to throw up, but my nerves settled down once I started playing getting the ball and help from my team," the athletic youngster said.
Valleys Stars captain Tracey Calis, who played in defence, was proud of her team.
"It was a good game and we pushed them right to the end. To all those people that keep asking when I'm retiring, I hate to tell you but I've still got a few years left in me yet," she said.
Yaralla Falcons 30 d Valleys Stars 25