Grafton Netball Association have been crowned Far North Coast Regional State League Champions for the third consecutive year after defeating Ballina 57-37 in the 2014 Grand Final.
Played at Yamba Sports Complex on Sunday 18 May, Grafton and Ballina finished the regular rounds atop the ladder, earning themselves a tilt at the 2014 Champions title in the Final.
The two finalists met earlier in the day with three rounds remaining to be played, with the top two finishing sides to advance to the title decider. Grafton took honours in Round 7 by seven goals, setting up an exciting Grand Final at the conclusion of Round 8.
Nothing could separate the teams in the opening quarter with Grafton holding a slim one goal lead at the first break, before putting their foot down in the second quarter to extend their lead to five at the big break.
Ballina weren’t to be discouraged though, mounting a comeback to win the third quarter 11 goals to nine to pull back the deficit on the scoreboard. But the resurgence would be short lived as the defending Champions showed great fitness and grit in a dominant final quarter, putting up 21 goals whilst keeping Ballina to just six, to finish 20 goal victors.
After taking out the Far North Coast Regional State League title, Grafton are now invited to represent the region at the 2014 Inter-Regional State League competition, vying against other Regional winners for the title of ultimate State Champion.
It is the second year Netball NSW has hosted the Inter-Regional State Final, and in 2014 will be played on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 September at the Anne Clark Centre.
GRAFTON│ Q1: 12 – Q2: 25 (13) – Q3: 36 (9) – Q4: 57 (21)
BALLINA│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 20 (9) – Q3: 31 (11) – Q4: 37 (6)
Far North Coast Regional State League – Final Placings;
3. Lower Clarence