Late inclusions aren't foreign in touch football, but they don't get much better than the scenario faced by Gerringong on Monday night.
It was a huge boost for Gerringong, who beat reigning champions Stingrays of Shellharbour in their semi-final before going on to face Dapto in the decider. The Canaries advanced to the grand final with victory over Corrimal.
Tonegato was able to save her best for last, playing a crucial role across the park as the Lions claimed a 10-5 victory to take home their maiden Premier League premiership. The returning Vienna Randal and Cara Zameski were excellent for Dapto, while Gerringong's Destiny Air was named player of the final.
"It was a very tight game early, we were only up by one in the first half, but in the second half we came together as a team," Lions captain Mackenzie Ford told the Mercury.
"Emma was really good. It was just amazing to watch how she plays, she just looks like she does it so easy. It's really nice that she still gets involved with the locals and everyone was loving that she was there.
"It was good for our young ones to play with her. She brings so much experience and knowledge to the field."
Meanwhile, there were plenty of celebrations in Albion Park after their Eagles claimed back-to-back Men's Premier League titles on Monday night. They had to do it the hard way, coming back from fourth spot on the ladder to defeat Wests Red Devils 5-1 in the grand final.
Albion Park were boosted by the return of Jack Lewis, holding off a fast-finishing Thirroul to win their semi-final by 5-4. That win set up a showdown with Wests, who snuck past Shoalhaven in their semi.
The score was locked at 1-1 at halftime in the decider, before the Eagles ran riot in the second stanza to claim victory - despite losing a player to the sinbin.
Jacob Lambert was named player of the final.
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