Newcastle claim Inter-Regional crown

Newcastle have been crowned the 2014 GrainCorp Inter-Regional State League Champions, coming from behind to defeat defending Champions Orange, 45-38, in the Final.

The Hunter Regional Champions were down by as many as six goals during the match, however a strong second half performance saw them take the lead in the dying seconds of the third quarter. They held out their West/Central West opponents to claim their first Inter-Regional State League title.

Head Coach Maria Hoad was “over the moon” with the title win, saying she was impressed after her team had only just come back together after a couple of months’ break.

“They haven’t really been together since State [Championships] so to come and play two days of netball, have hard games and to bring it around to win the Grand Final was just amazing, I’m so proud,” Hoad said.

Orange got off to a great start, opening out to a five goal advantage early in the opening quarter. However the younger Newcastle side soon regathered their composure to keep within touch of their opponents.  While their attacking end saw plenty of the ball, they couldn’t pull back the deficit on the scoreboard with Orange posting a healthy six goal lead at the first break.

With a couple personnel changes during the break Newcastle worked hard and soon had pulled back the gap to just three goals. But Orange were up to the challenge and, using their speed to transition the ball quickly down the court, maintained their handy lead. Soon the sides were locked in a goal-for-goal battle, with Orange maintaining a two goal buffer at half-time.

The see-sawing battle continued into the second half; Newcastle scored first to get within one goal, however Orange had a reply straight away to keep their opponents at bay. With their defensive end working overtime to create turnovers, Orange hit their opposition where it hurt most – the scoreboard.  By halfway through the third quarter the West/Central West champions had pushed back out to a six goal lead.

But Newcastle’s defenders were equally up to the challenge, pulling in crucial intercepts to give possession back to their side. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Newcastle evened the score and after taking the next centre pass, scored a goal to hit the lead for the first time.

With 15 minutes to state their case to be crowned the 2014 Champion, both sides threw everything into the contest, leaving everything on court. Again they were locked in a goal-for-goal battle as Orange tried desperately to take back the lead, while Newcastle did their best to hold on.

As the clock counted down fatigue appeared to begin to set in, as the teams approached the end of two days of back-to-back netball. But it was Newcastle who held strong, coming back from six goals down to post a seven goal victory and claim the 2014 Inter-Regional State Champion title.

In the third place play-off, Tamworth overcame a spirited Grafton to post a 52-40 victory on the back of a strong second half performance. After being locked in a draw for much of the opening 15 minutes, Tamworth put out strong second and third quarter performance to force Grafton into chase mode.  Despite the Far North Coast Champions winning the final quarter by two goals, it wasn’t enough to chase down the deficit with Tamworth claiming third place.

Hastings Valley rounded out the teams in fifth place, finishing their Inter-Regional State Final weekend with a friendly match against the invitational Hunter side.

Introduced by Netball NSW in 2013, the Inter-Regional State League competition is supported by GrainCorp, Proud Partner of Netball NSW. The invitational competition was open to all Division One winners from each Regional State League to compete for the title of Netball NSW’s top regional team.

2014 GrainCorp Inter-Regional State Final – Placings
1. Newcastle (Hunter)
2. Orange (West/Central West)
3. Tamworth (Northern Inland)
4. Grafton (Far North Coast)
5. Hastings Valley (North Coast)

Click here to for Day One results.

ROUND 4
Tamworth│ Q1: 17 – Q2: 28 (11) – Q3: 40 (12) – Q4: 56 (16)
Grafton│ Q1: 16 – Q2: 28 (12) – Q3: 37 (9) – Q4: 47 (10)

Newcastle│ Q1: 14 – Q2: 27 (13) – Q3: 43 (16) – Q4: 65 (12)
Hastings Valley│ Q1: 10 – Q2: 18 (8) – Q3: 29 (11) – Q4: 38 (9)

*Orange│ Q1: 17 – Q2: 31 (14) – Q3: 46 (15) – Q4: 60 (14)
Hunter│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 16 (8) – Q3: 23 (7) – Q4: 34 (11)

ROUND 5
Hastings Valley│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 14 (6) – Q3: 21 (7) – Q4: 27 (8)
Orange│ Q1: 15 – Q2: 29 (14) – Q3: 47 (18) – Q4: 68 (21)

Newcastle│ Q1: 20 – Q2: 35 (15) – Q3: 52 (17) – 62 (10)
Grafton│ Q1: 10 – Q2: 22 (12) – Q3: 34 (12) – Q4: 46 (12)

Hunter│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 17 (9) – Q3: 24 (7) – Q4: 34 (10)
*Tamworth│ Q1: 7 – Q2: 17 (10) – Q3: 32 (15) – Q4: 42 (10)

FINALS
5v6: *Hastings Valley 28 def by Hunter 31
Hastings Valley│ Q1: 6 – Q2: 11 (5) – Q3: 21 (10) – Q4: 28 (7)
Hunter│ Q1: 12 – Q2: 19 (7) – Q3: 25 (6) – Q4: 31 (6)

3v4: Tamworth 52 def Grafton 40
Tamworth│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 26 (15) – Q3: 44 (18) – Q4: 52 (8)
Grafton│ Q1: 10 – Q2: 20 (10) – Q3: 29 (9) – Q4: 40 (11)

GRAND FINAL: Newcastle 45 def Orange 38
Newcastle│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 21 (13) – Q3: 31 (10) – Q4: 45 (14)
Orange│ Q1: 14 – Q2: 23 (9) – Q3: 30 (7) – Q4: 38 (8)

*Hunter participated in the competition as an invitational side, therefore matches were not worth any competition points.