Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong win maiden SNSW women’s football premiership
Jeff Hanson, Narrandera Argus
In only their second year in the competition, the Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong (GGGM) Lions have won the AFL Riverina SNSW women’s football premiership.
After going through the 2022 season undefeated, the Lions met the North Wagga Saints in the grand final at Apex Park on Friday night and came away 8.6 (54) to 2.5 (17) winners.
Playing in front of a boisterous crowd of around 1000 fans, the Lions were simply too strong, with Prue Walsh and Brooke Walsh both slotting a double, while Meg Jolley, Ruben Bennett, Courtney Menzies and Lucy Anderson all kicked goals.
Coached by Luke Walsh, the Lions weren’t rivalled in 2022, and they could have been forgiven for resting on their laurels in the grand final, but Walsh explained it was his team’s focus to be up and ready for the contest against a dangerous Saints outfit.
“I think the girls did a pretty good job of keeping everything into perspective,” Walsh said.
“There was a lot of talk of us going through undefeated and talk in the community and from supporters, who all wanted to see us go well.
“The girls did a pretty good job of ignoring that outside noise, and we spoke about having a job to do.
“We might have been the best team all year, but we still had to go to the game and play well.
“It wasn’t going to be given to us, and that was the focus, and we were able to win, which was great for the girls and the club.”
Brooke Walsh was named best on ground, with the midfielder starring on Friday night.
“She was very good,” Walsh said.
“She played pretty much the whole night in the middle of the ground, and she played like that every week.
“Brooke has been getting better and better and on Friday night, she was desperate for every loose ball and combined well with Lucy (Anderson) and Prue (Walsh), and that enabled us to get the ball moving forward and it became a territory battle, which we won.”
The Lions boast an exciting list and Walsh believed GGGM could be competition heavyweights for some time.
“I don’t know the age profile, but I reckon it would be young and there wouldn’t be many players over 25, and in that regard, they could play for a long time,” Walsh said.
“Player turnover will be another thing, and we had up to 10 different players from last year to this year and I know there will be two or three that will be unlikely to be there next year.
“Still, I think if we are able to keep the core together, we would keep improving and we could be really strong for a long time.”
The end of the 2022 AFL Riverina SNSW women’s football premiership means the start of the RFL competition is just around the corner, and most women will now done their netball bibs on Saturday when the Lions take on the Wagga Tigers.
This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 7 April 2022.