Fusions All Blacks produced one of the most complete performances of the season on Saturday to claim the Rawson Homes Premiership A Grade title.
In a match played at great speed but also in great spirit, a host of young netballers played starring roles as the All Blacks defeated clubmates Fusions Pink 53-37.
All Blacks captain Tash Watts-Tehiko, playing her final match before retiring, was overjoyed with her side’s performance, describing it as “beautiful” netball.
“I’m so over the moon, words can not explain it,” an elated Watts-Tehiko said after the win.
“Shooting was outstanding, the defence was beautiful and the midcourt slammed it through the middle of the court.
“I stood off a quarter because I wanted to see beautiful netball and that’s what they were playing. I love the Pink girls but today was our day.”
The All Blacks, led by the sublime shooting of Danni Wilson, began brilliantly and shot out to a 15-7 lead after the first quarter and the lead never truly looked threatened for the rest of the match.
Fusions Pink captain Caroline Dallinger, also in her final match at Dubbo, remained proud of her side after seeing the youngsters produce some fantastic play on the way to the grand final.
“I couldn’t be happier regardless of the outcome,” she said.
“At the end of the game every single one of them said ‘oh well, we’ll get them next year’ so to have that positivity from start to finish is awesome.”
Wilson only missed one shot in the first quarter and incredibly only missed the target on five occasions all match.
She scored 30 points and shot at a percentage better than 85% for the match.
Attacking partner Abbie Merritt was strong again and finished with 23 points, while Maddi Alderdice kept things moving at centre and the defensive duo of Kellyann Grayson and Tara Parkinson also impressed.
The match was almost over at half time with All Blacks up 31-14 but the Pink side mustered a mini revival in the third quarter, thanks largely to the shooting of Ally McLean and Krystal Dallinger.
Dallinger, the youngest player on the court, was valiant in defeat and her 15-goal performance was even more impressive due to the fact she battled illness the entire match.
But not even she could stop Fusions All Blacks, who won the final quarter 11-8 to score a commanding 16-goal victory.
“Ten girls took the court today and 10 girls won it for us and they all absolutely smashed it,” Watts-Tehiko said. “No one outshone anyone else, we just played how we should be playing.”
For Dallinger, who has battled injury for much of the season, the highlight came late on as she played the final quarter at goal attack, alongside her daughter Krystal at goal shooter.