The Ararat Storm’s premiership defence has got a big boost after the team won its semi-final against the Lakers by six points to progress through to the grand final.
The Storm’s chances got a boost early on when the team won the coin toss and chose to kick with a significant wind advantage in the first quarter.
The reigning premiers were unable to make the most of it, as they went into quarter time with just an 11-point lead.
The Lakers had the same advantage in the second quarter but the Storm were able to keep them goalless while kicking one of their own to stretch the margin to 16 points at the long break.
The second half was a more balanced game with the Storm only managing one more goal for the game.
The Lakers used the wind in the final term but fell just short of the Storm to give the reigning premiers clear passage through to the grand final with the victory.
Renee Saulitis kicked two majors for the Storm with Ella Wood kicking the other goal.
Georgia Clarke was named the team’s best player ahead of Lauren Sykes and Saulitis.
Storm coach Krystal Cameron said she was proud of the team’s efforts.
“It was a tough game but we are very excited to get straight in without having to play again,” she said.
“We won the toss and kicked with the wind in the first quarter but we did not take full advantage of that, only kicking one goal.
“Late in the game, I thought we locked it down pretty well.
“The Lakers came at us pretty hard at the end there but we got there in the end.”
Cameron said it was good preparation ahead of the grand final.
“The intensity was up and the tackle pressure was high from both teams,” she said.
“So I think both teams will have some sore bodies and we are lucky we have next week off to recover and prepare for the grand final.”
The reigning premiers will have to wait to find out who they play with the Ballarat Swans and Lakers set for a preliminary final on Sunday.
Cameron said she is not worried about who the Storm face in the decider.
“I think we have seen enough of the two teams to know what we need to focus on in the lead-up,” she said.
“Some of the girls might go down and watch but the coaches probably will not.”
The Storm will face the winner of the preliminary final in the youth girls grand final at Lake Wendouree Oval on September 10.
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