Thirteen years of waiting have been washed away after Wollongong's top-grade women's representative side secured Vawdon Cup glory on Sunday.
The Devils left their run to the very last minute, but overcame a gritty Easts outfit to win 3-2 after a thrilling three-on-three dropoff in the 2023 women's division one grand final in Canterbury.
The Cup is a prestigious Sydney metropolitan championship that has been running for nearly five decades, with Wollongong's senior women's side last claiming the title in 2010. Fittingly, it was Cara Zaremski - who was part of that championship-winning side 13 years ago - who set up the winning play for teammate Loagan Garratt to score out wide.
"Cara is a Devil through and through, I think she's been a Devils player since under-10s. So for her to be out there and steering the young girls around - especially at right at the death - it was special. And it was such a smart play from a very smart player," head coach Tim Robinson told the Mercury.
"But it was a magic win. It was a little bit too close for comfort, but we got there in the end. I'm really proud of the girls, they dug pretty deep and saw out some really hard times in that game - especially in the back end.
"But they stuck together and finished the game off well, and got the winner in the dropoff from Loagan."
The senior women's side were one of two Wollongong outfits to compete in deciders on Sunday. Unfortunately, there was no double delight for the Devils, with their division one men's outfit going down 12-8 to reigning premiers Parramatta.
"Parra really stepped up, they had plenty to play for and they've been the defending champs for the past couple of years," Robinson said.
"The boys probably got out of the gates a little too slow and, while they found themselves back in the game through the middle period, Parra really put them to the sword towards the back end and ended up being too good.
"But hats off to the boys, that was only their second loss of the season - unfortunately it came in a grand final."
The Vawdon Cup is another stepping stone in Wollongong Touch's preparations for the NSW State Cup, which will take place in Port Macquarie next month.
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