IRREWARRA-BEEAC netballers will be in unfamiliar territory this weekend after suffering their first loss in more than four years.
Colac Imperials defeated the Bombers and became the first team since South Colac in 2007 to beat the competition’s greatest winners.
The streak included five premierships, three A Grade coaches and a stream of talented players.
Former Irrewarra-Beeac captain Elissa Rodger, nee Langdon, joined the Bombers after their 2007 premiership and became part of the historic winning run.
Rodger said the Bombers’ ability to adapt to new players became the team’s signature for success.
“The thing is most years the team hasn’t remained the same, new players have come into the team and we’ve had to start over,” she said.
“We had to work on everything and make sure the new players knew how we all played.
“Each year we had to work harder and we never took it for granted, we’d put in hard yards at training and we never thought we were unbeatable.”
Irewarra-Beeac survived a one-goal thriller against South Colac in 2010 to keep its unbeaten run intact and the Bombers biggest win came against Otway Districts, 72-12, in 2008.
Rodger said this year’s Bombers line-up, which includes five players with limited A Grade experience, might benefit from Saturday’s loss.
“The pressure is probably off the new girls now, they don’t have to be nervous and they will build on their skills and by the end of the season they will have developed further,” she said.
“A lot of them haven’t played A grade netball or haven’t played for a while but as the year progresses they’re only going to get stronger.”
Rodger said the winning streak was something Irrewarra-Beeac players and supporters would remember for a long time.
“It’s not something you hear of very often, it’s a great achievement that we’ve been able to consistently win and some of those wins have been close,” she said.