WANL Grand Final set for classic showdown

The Perth Lions and Coastal Sharks are two of the most successful West Australian Netball League clubs in history.

However, only one Club will walk away the League trophy, and bragging rights as claiming the final premiership in WANL, before the competition undergoes significant changes in 2019.

The Lions last Grand Final was a successful one, with the Perth side claiming the 2015 flag, their sixth at League level.

They have also won three Reserves titles, and two 18U flags, with the latter to again compete for the premiership this year.

For the Sharks, they came so close last year, but fell short of the West Coast Warriors, who claimed back to back League titles.

The Sharks have four League titles to their name, the last in 2011, which ended an 11-year drought for the Coastal team.

They’ve won four 18U premierships, and a staggering 10 at Reserves level, including a dominance rarely seen at this level of sport.

The Sharks Reserves side has won every premiership since 2012. They will be aiming for seven consecutive premierships this year. Yes, SEVEN!

Coastal Sharks Captain Jess Penny said that despite the pain of last year’s defeat, she was confident they could raise the trophy in 2018.

“I think it makes us fight for it more,” Penny said.

“We have definitely had the bittersweet moment of losing.”

The Lions and Sharks have clashed three times in 2018, with Perth holding a 2-1 advantage over the Sharks, including a 13-goal win in the Semi Final.

Neither Penny, nor Perth Lions Co-Captain Tess Cransberg were buying into the season scoreline.

“We have both lost games and we have both won games to different opponents, so at the end of the day it will come down to who wants to play on the day and the best combination will win,” Penny said.

“Finals is completely different, the pressure is different, the crowd is different, the environment is different and even the court is different, so it’s a square playing field,” Cransberg said.

“We don’t really think of it as an advantage,” she said.

Lions Co-Captain Ariana Brown credited the Sharks, and acknowledged their strengths.

“Throughout the season the team has grown and every time we played Sharks, they’re a quality side, so we have always had to step up our game, and they have really challenged us to do that every single time,” she said.

The Perth Lions will take on the Coastal Sharks at 7.00pm at the State Netball Centre on Friday, 14 September.

Tickets are available at the door for $15 for adults and $10 for concession.