Royals Saints 1 survived a pulsating final term against Bullets 1 to secure back-to-back Albany Netball Association A1 premierships on Saturday afternoon. Played in front of hundreds of spectators at Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, the grand final came down to the final 15 minutes after an absorbing three quarters. A three-goal Royals Saints advantage at the final change was quickly cut to one as Bullets tried desperately to reel in their rivals. The margin remained under two goals for much of a gripping fourth quarter before the class of Royals Saints came to the fore as they took control of the dying stages to win by five goals. Summer Stirling netted seven goals in a crucial final term while the work of Nardia Humphries and Rebecca Goodliffe was vital in their side claiming grand final glory, 44-39. Humphries was named fairest and best in the grand final, earning the Lucille Holt Award for her highly influential four quarters at wing attack. Royals Saints’ title win came with plenty of challenges as they withstood a fierce final quarter challenge from the gallant Bullets. Bullets got within one goal on seven occasions in the final term but could not land successive goals and get their noses in front. Turnovers at critical moments proved costly and despite the best efforts of outstanding defender Claire Holliday and young shooter Emily Gadean their side was denied a fairytale finish to 2023. Bullets were the first team into the decider and scored the opening goal of the game but Royals Saints were able to establish an early lead through the dynamic shooting combination of Charlotte Edwards and Stirling. Royals Saints led by one goal at quarter-time and extended that buffer to four goals at the end of the second period, as wing attack Humphries and goal defender Goodliffe were both playing key roles. Bullets fought back strongly to win the third term and keep themselves in the game heading into the final stanza. Gadean was superb in the third as she scored seven of her side’s eight goals while Holliday was playing some sort of game in the back half, rebounding and intercepting regularly. Scores were level twice in the third term but Royals Saints steadied the ship as Stirling hit a couple of late goals to push her side clear by three.