The coach who had brought Launceston Tornadoes its only championship win has drawn striking comparisons to the grand final-bound side.
Michael House was one of the 1100 spectators in the crowd soaking up the club’s historic 75-65 preliminary final victory at Elphin Sports Centre over Nunawading.
“The way they played last night was extremely well,” House told The Examiner on Sunday, “so why not – why can’t they win it all?”
Launceston is set to play Bendigo, who have lost just once in 22 games – that to the Tornadoes – for the SEABL women’s championship.
The turnaround in fortunes has been remarkable having secured only one win from the opening five games under Derrick Washington’s new leadership.
The Tornadoes, even with captain Lauren Mansfield missing more games than she has played, won 14 from their next 17 appearances.
“In a way, it’s very similar to the ‘95 team because they started slowly,” House said.
“In fact, that team only just made the final six, probably on the last game. So we only just made the finals and then we never lost.”
House could not discount momentum in a swinging year and the side had that in spades against the Spectres in front of a raucous sellout.
“The thing that stood out to me on Saturday is the Torns’ spirit of ‘95 is well alive in 2018 – the team was playing for each other,” he said.
“They all had a role, they were willing to play that role, from player number 1 right up to the last bench player.
“It takes the whole bench to do it that well.
“It’s a credit to the administration, the sponsors, certainly the girls and the coach, and the locals that have been behind them all those years.”
House will attend the championship game against the Braves in Melbourne, hoping the final result will rekindle happy memories.
He admits the time is right for the club to rid the albatross from around its neck.
“Everyone keeps talking about the ‘95 team,” he said.
“Well, it’s time we talk about the 2018 team in the same way. It’s time for the club and they just deserve another win. They have everything going for them.”
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