Young Magpies are pipped at the post

Valiant effort: The Busselton Magpies' Under 16 grand final squad. Photos: Supplied.

Valiant effort: The Busselton Magpies' Under 16 grand final squad. Photos: Supplied.

The Under 16 Busselton Magpies met the Blackwood Ravens in the South West Netball Football League grand final on Saturday, September 14.

Both teams had been dominant throughout the season, with one win each against one another in the regular season, with the Magpies winning by the narrowest of margins against the Ravens in the preliminary final.

The teams met at the Eaton Recreation Centre and after the opening ceremony, both hit the court with fast-paced intensity.

The Magpies came out shooting well, with Sally Conroy and Emma Jackson combining nicely as they have all season.

However, it was the intense defensive efforts of both teams which saw a very low scoring, but exciting contest evolve.

Kalani Bate-Henry and Montana Ternadi were giving the Ravens attack no space and with several scintillating passages of play through the centre led by Jordan Sapsford and Jenna Begley, a scoreline of 9-7 in favour of the Magpies spoke volumes in terms of the defensive intensity being shown up and down the court.

The second quarter saw Tasmin Falconer step in, with Begley continuing to dominate the centre and some wonderful interceptions created by a hard-working Elle Mullumby.

The Magpies faltered a little under the pressure during the term, with some wayward passing and squandered opportunities to hold the lead, however, regained their composure with the scoreline even at 18 goals apiece at the half-time break.

Dakota Nelmes and Felicity Watson stepped into the fray for the third quarter.

The level of intensity continued, with the teams trading goals at either end.

The young Magpies performance was superb and with the exception of a handful of mistimed passes; which were capitalised upon by the well-drilled Ravens.

Magpies did a glorious job at containing the Ravens, going into the final term down three goals, 23-26.

Begley re-entered the game, with Sapsford moving into goals with Jackson for the fourth and final term of the 2019 season.

Tasmin Falconer fought desperately for a contested ball, lifting the young Magpies, who continued to fight valiantly until the final siren. However they couldn't quite peg back the Ravens' lead, going down 31-35 at the final siren.

The young Magpies should be extremely proud of their performance, with coach Beth Stokes stating she couldn't have asked anything more from her charges, over what has been a truly wonderful season.