Experience, grit the keys to Dodgers’ successful season
EXPERIENCE and sheer grit were the key elements in Dodgers Devils' successful Far North Coast softball season.
That is the verdict of delighted coach Matthew Riley after seeing his Devils side take the Division 1 title in thrilling fashion.
This year's grand final against Workers Condors on Saturday went to down to the wire before Riley's team sealed a nail-biting4-3 victory.
Dodgers Devils went unbeaten throughout the weather-hampered season before claiming the title.
"We had a core group of players who have been in A-grade for some years,"he said.
"Sonya Pope is a high-quality pitcher and that makes a difference for us.
"The quality of softball from both sides in the grand final really was exceptional."
The grand final at Lismore's Albert Park was a hard-fought affair, with Dodgers clinching the win only in the final stages.
It was a difficult season for players of all teams, with the competition badly hit by the rotten summer weather.
Riley said the victory was a reward for his players' dedicated efforts.
"A lot of people came to training sessions during the season," he said.
"It shows that if you train hard, then you get results.
"As a coach, I enjoy seeing people getting better at what they do.
"It is also the players' ability and dedication that wins games.
"They have done well."
Dodgers Demons were also celebrating after taking the Division 2 title with a battling 10-8 win over Goonellabah Lotto.
Coach Sharon Winkler was delighted with the efforts of her charges.
"Different players stepped up as our pitching options were low due to the absence of two of our players," she said.
"That was pleasing.
"We've duelled with Goonellabah all season, so it was a fitting end."
Goonellabah Tigers defeated Dodgers Angels 20-18 to take out Division 3.