2011 will be forever remembered as the year of the Swan in the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League.
In their first year in the league after crossing from the defunct Lexton Plains Football Netball League, Natte Bealiba captured both the senior football premiership and the A grade netball flag, becoming only the second side to complete the premiership double behind Harcourt, who achieved the feat in 2003.
The Swans’ football side completed a remarkable turnaround in the second half of the year to defeat Navarre by 18 points in the decider, 12.11 (83) to 10.5 (65).
Natte midfielder Stephen Ross, who booted three goals for the match, was named as the umpires’ choice for best on ground honours, while teammate Zac Perez was awarded the VCFL medal.
In the A grade netball, the Swans, who finished the home and away season with 13 wins and just one loss, downed their Navarre opponents by eight goals, 35-27, continuing their season-long dominance.
Natte coach and league best and fairest winner, Ingrid Hopkins added to her swag of awards for 2011 by being named as best on court.
In the reserves football, Trentham secured a premiership win with a nailbiting one point win over Carisbrook, with midfielder Brad Keast named best on ground.
Earlier in the day, Carisbrook claimed the under 17s football flag over Newstead, while Navarre took out the under 15s with a 37 point win over Carisbrook.
In the B grade netball, Lexton triumphed over Maryborough Rovers, with Rovers’ Nicole Summers named as best on court, while Harcourt defeated Avoca in the C grade decider, with Harcourt goaler Suzie Rinaldi named as the best player in the decider.
In junior netball, Navarre captured a one goal win over Avoca to win the under 17 final, Harcourt outplayed Newstead to win the under 15 premiership and Carisbrook claimed the under 13 flag over Navarre.
While there were plenty of on-field victories, the league also had some off-field success, with a record crowd making its way through the gates for Sunday’s grand final day and police giving the crowd a tick of approval for their behaviour during the day.
“We had a gate taking of about $36,500 which breaks the record from grand final day two years ago,” MCDFNL secretary Rod Ward said.