A youthful Queensland Thunder side led by four-time Olympian Bronwen Knox have won their maiden Australian Water Polo League gold medal.
The Queenslanders went into the gold medal playoff as the underdogs as they came up against five-time premiership winners Fremantle Marlins.
But Thunder had delivered a stand out season to date, having finished third on the ladder after 11 weeks of tough competition.
It wasn't the start Queensland wanted with the Marlins taking an early 3-0 lead but the side fought back to bring it to 4-3 at halftime.
"It wasn’t a great start for us, we got three goals behind but the girls dug in and started grinding away and it was a great team effort and we got away with the win in the end," Knox said.
The final was a cumulation of all that and went down to the wire as scores were locked 9-9 with less than a minute to go.
Bridget Leeson-Smith delivered the match-winning goal and saw the trophy was on the plane back to Queensland.
The Thunder, who were born out of the two teams, only came into the competition this season but the move to join the two sides has paid off.
“The first year, we’ve had a few things to overcome, we’ve had new people come in, and it’s been great," Knox said.
"We’ve got a new coach and it’s been an awesome season...we’ve come from behind, we’ve led from the front, we’ve won from penalty shoot outs, we’ve lost from penalty shoot outs...it’s had it all."
Knox now turns her attention to the international season with the Aussie Stingers for the FINA World Championships later this year.