Orange has taken out the inaugural GrainCorp Inter-Regional State League title after defeating Illawarra, 69-36, in the Grand Final at the Anne Clark Centre.
Orange Head Coach Sophie Beer commended her team’s performances over the weekend.
“They have done a fantastic job; we were always hopeful that we would be able to give it a real shot and represent our area of the world at the Inter-Regional State League. The girls have done a brilliant job and they’ve pulled through with the goods,” Beer said.
“Orange have had had a fantastic season this year – as an area and as a town. We always look forward to our netball season – we just love to come and play and have a go, and we did that today.”
Orange Captain Erin Taylor paid tribute to Runners-Up Illawarra for “being a really good young side”, her “beautiful teammates”, as well as the umpires and officials who participated across the weekend.
“Coming out from regional areas, we love our netball. We just want to get in and play, and what a great competition the Inter-Regional State League was. We hope that it grows and we see you all next year!” Taylor said.
It was a rematch of the Major Semi Final, with the same result as Orange pitted their experienced campaigners against the youth and speed of Illawarra. Representing the West/Central West region, Orange flew out of the starting blocks to open up a 13 goal advantage after the first quarter.
Contesting their third match of the day, South Coast Champions Illawarra threw everything into the contest to pull back the deficit. The young side’s defensive pairing was given a workout by the Orange shooters, who worked the circle in tandem for their feeders to find a hole in the Illawarra defence.
Orange put together an impressive full court defence, putting pressure over every Illawarra pass and shot to create the turnover. Some impressive long-range shooting from Illawarra GS kept her side in touch however Orange continued to build on their lead.
In the end Orange used their experience to overcome the youthful Illawarra side to finish 33 goal victors and take home the inaugural trophy.
Grand Final Results
Orange 69 def Illawarra 36
Orange – Q1: 19 – Q2: 36 (17) – Q3: 51 (15) – Q4: 69 (18)
Illawarra – Q1: 6 – Q2: 16 (10) – Q3: 25 (9) – Q4: 36 (11)