TWL North grand final 2018: Evandale shocks Scottsdale to secure maiden flag

SWEET VICTORY: Evandale players celebrate on the final siren.
SWEET VICTORY: Evandale players celebrate on the final siren.

Evandale has secured its maiden TWL North flag after upsetting reigning premier and favourite Scottsdale by four points in the grand final.

Neither team led by more than a goal in a low-scoring decider and Scottsdale looked to have control of the game after taking a one-point lead into the final term.

But Launceston premiership half-back Maggie Cuthbertson willed Evandale over the line in a best-on-ground performance, stepping up across both wings in the final term and kicking the match-winning goal five minutes from time in her side’s 3.1 (19) to 2.3 (15) win.

The victory came as sweet relief for coach Stewart Nankervis, whose charges had not beaten Scottsdale in their last five attempts including last season’s grand final.

“We’re ecstatic,” he said.

“Last year we were overwhelmed by Scottsdale and today we fought it out and at the end of the day I think our girls showed some great courage in the last half.

“There’s a lot of them that played last year so they lived through that disappointment. 

“I thought we had a chance, I was just hoping the girls would believe in it and I think today they really took the bit between the teeth and had a fair dinkum crack and they’re over the moon.”

Scottsdale drew first blood early in the second quarter when Pamela Rolles kicked her first, but Emily McKinnell squared the ledger just minutes later. 

Pies ruck Miranda Oliver was stretchered off early in the third term and a 50m penalty not long after allowed Weagles co-captain Courtney Sharman to convert from the goalsquare.

Mikayla Binns, who was one of the Mapgies’ best, goaled on the run from 35 to give her side a lead at the final change but Cuthbertson’s cool finish from a forward 50 stoppage was the telling blow. 

George Town’s Jodie Clifford was named the league’s best player for 2018, with Evandale tall Sophie Townsend runner-up.

McKinnell and Scottsdale’s Gemma James shared the home and away goalkicking award with 21 apiece.