THE Melville Marlins were the dominant team throughout the 2016-17 Women’s Premier League and they delivered in the grand final on Saturday beating the UWA City Beach Bears 15-2 at HBF Stadium.
The Marlins had gone through the season undefeated with the only blemish on their record due to a forfeit. The Bears, meanwhile, had fought hard to make the grand final but they were always going to have their work cut out.
A glimpse into that took place on Friday night with the National Water Polo League western derby between the UWA Torpedoes and Fremantle Marlins at UWA Aquatic Centre.
The Marlins won that game 12-2 gearing up for the finals beginning in Sydney this Friday.
The Torpedoes hopes of turning around the result from the national league on Friday night with the absence of Cathryn Earl, Dayna O’Leary and Victoria Brown.
The Marlins team was largely the same from its Fremantle line-up aside from Olympian Glencora McGhie.
The grand final was the main event of a full day of action at HBF Stadium as well to end the season for the Water Polo WA senior teams.
And UWA City Beach started promisingly the first goal of the grand final to rising star Madi Rigo.
Melville soon responded through Zoe Arancini and then went up 2-1 when she scored again with nine seconds left before quarter-time.
The Marlins lead soon became 3-1 to start the second quarter thanks to a goal to Lauren Martin, but the Bears were staying in touch thanks to a second goal with the extra man advantage to Rigo again.
But leading into half-time Melville began to pull away with goals to Arancini, Erin Redbond, Arancini again and then Pia Rodgers to see them lead 7-2 at the break.
Another three goals to nil in the third quarter saw the Marlins lead grow to 10-2 and then five more unanswered goals in the fourth period saw them end up winning 15-2 to claim the 2016-17 Women’s Premier League premiership.
Arancini scored six goals for the Marlins and ended up being awarded the Most Valuable Player honours.
Martin also ended up with four goals for Melville and Redbond three.
Recently turned 18-year-old Rigo scored both goals for the Bears while it was also the final appearance for the club for Torpedoes imports Kingsley Hill and Vesselina Velikova who will return home to the United States and Switzerland respectively.
WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE GRAND FINAL
Melville Marlins 15 defeated UWA City Beach Bears 2 at HBF Stadium
Fairest and Best Player: Jessica Reynolds (Phil Johnson Plumbing and Gas North Coast Phoenix)
Andy Meloncelli Award: Zoe Arancini (Melville Marlins)
The player of the game, Zoe Arancini winning the Andy Meloncelli Award [named after her grandfather], presented by her mother, Wendy Arancini