Penguins, Hoppers hopes dashed in final

Midfield rally: A Grasshopper contests the ball with his Wolumla opponent during Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Tigers in the grand final.
Midfield rally: A Grasshopper contests the ball with his Wolumla opponent during Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Tigers in the grand final.

Both the Pambula Penguinettes and Merimbula Grasshoppers had their premiership hopes dashed in Sunday’s grand finals. 

The Grasshoppers came close to upsetting the Wolumla Tigers in the reserve grade draw, but going down 2-1, while the undefeated Eden Killer Whales proved too strong for the Penguinettes in a 5-0 result. 

 it came down to the wire after the Grasshoppers put on a concerted effort against the minor premiers. 

Both teams were fast and agile and play centred around the middle with neither side able to get many scoring opportunities up close. 

Merimbula used their speed to create some attacking space down the edges, but Daniel Kennedy was indomitable at sweeper to clear the ball out. 

Blake Rosseland had also been influential with long range kicks and good headers for the Tigers. 

The Tigers were also well-served by Adam Bedford up front, while Kye Dewberry was impactful despite an early ankle injury. 

Dave Gilbert was also solid out of goals for the Grasshoppers, while keeping up talk on the field. 

Damiel Friedli made some good runs up the edge, while Blake Mitchell and Jai Pentecost had some good passages through the middle. 

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead early in the second half, but gifted the Grasshoppers a dot shot later to see the scores levelled 1-1. 

With just minutes to play, the Tigers struck back to seal the 2-1 result.

In the women’s clash, the Killer Whales were just too strong for the Penguinettes, sealing the premiership 5-0. 

The Eden outfit was on the attack from the outset and blind-sided the Pambula defence with a couple of early goals to surge ahead 4-0 by the break. 

The opener came when Eden centre Debbie Heron forced the Pambula defence wide, but crossed to Mel Mitchell in the middle to fire the first goal into the net. 

Despite some outstanding defensive play through Liz Scott, Rebecca Nelson, Chantal Gleeson and Annalisse Reed, Eden were too dominant. 

Pambula were able to launch a handful of attacking raids at Eden, but were kept wanting by a resilient Kamilla Grubesic in the box. 

The Penguinettes attackers were well guarded with Astyn Friend and Zoe Pentin well-marked by their opponents. 

The scoreline didn’t truly reflect the quality of play on offer, but Eden were a cut above on the day. 

The Bega Devils claimed the win in the first grade match 1-0 over the Wolumla Tigers after a closely fought and heated exchange on the main field.