Glen Innes have finished the season undefeated after overcoming Armidale to be crowned the 2013 GrainCorp Regional State League – Northern Inland Division One Champions last Sunday 25 August.
Glen Innes Captain Kirstie Fuller said she was incredibly proud of her young teammates to finish the season undefeated, winning the Grand Final, 85-32.
“Last year we had the opposite of fortunes – we lost the Semi Final and had to play the Prelim, so were exhausted by the time we had to contest the Grand Final. This year it was our goal to win the semi to advance straight to the Grand Final so we were fresh and ready to go,” Fuller said.
“We have a really young side – I’m the eldest at 26, while my teammates range from 14 to 19 years old. However, I’m just so proud of the girls because they showed maturity beyond their years. During the Semi Final, Armidale got within two goals and it could have gone either way, but the girls showed composure, dug deep, and we were able to win by seven.”
“For the girls to test themselves in an Open Division against the best in the region is fantastic, but to go through undefeated is a terrific achievement. Now we have the opportunity to do that against the best regional teams from around the State at the Inter-Regional State League competition, which is really exciting,” Fuller concluded.
After defeating Armidale in the Semi Final by seven goals, Glen Innes advanced straight to the title decider, while Runners-Up Armidale were given a second chance when they met Tamworth in the Preliminary Final.
The Preliminary Final was a tight contest with the teams trading goals for most of the match however with the home crowd behind them, hosts Armidale overcame a gallant Tamworth by a single goal, 39-38, before turning their attention to the Grand Final and rematch against Glen Innes.
Tamworth took honours in a closely fought Division Two Grand Final, overcoming a tenacious Group 14 by just two goals to take home the title, 35-33.
The two sides met earlier in the Semi Final but the results went the other way with Group 14 enjoying a 49-37 victory to advance straight to the title decider. Tamworth was given a second chance when they met Narrabri in the Preliminary Final, withstanding the strong Narrabri defence to finish strongly and secure a rematch with Group 14.
Tamworth entered the Grand Final with momentum on their side. Both sides flew out of the starting blocks for the opening quarter, though as the match wore on and fatigue set in, unforced errors began to creep into the game.
Neither Tamworth nor Group 14 could reap the benefits by converting their turnovers as the lead switched hands throughout the second half. In the end Tamworth was able to finish the match the stronger, holding out a passionate Group 14 to take home the title.
After taking out Division One, Glen Innes will now represent Northern Inland during the inaugural GrainCorp Inter-Regional State League competition, to be contested at the Anne Clark Centre on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September.
Fuller said Glen Innes weren’t going into the maiden competition with any expectations.
“Since it’s the first time this competition has been held, we don’t really know what to expect, except that it will be a tough contest. We are just looking to expose our younger players to new experiences, to learn from them and just have some fun,” Fuller said.
Six Regional State League Division One winners* have already been announced with just GrainCorp Regional State League – West/Central West to be finalised in two weeks.
Played over two days at the Anne Clark Centre, the 2013 GrainCorp Inter-Regional State League competition will pit the best netball teams from around NSW, all vying to take home the ultimate title of State League Champion.
The teams will play a round robin style format, before advancing to the Finals to decide who will be crowned the inaugural Champions of the State.
2013 GrainCorp Inter-Regional State League – Participating Teams
Hunter – Charlestown 19s
West/Central West – TBC
Far North Coast – Grafton
South Coast – Sapphire Coast
Northern Inland – Glen Innes
North Coast – Coffs Harbour
Riverina – Wagga Wagga 17s
2013 GrainCorp Regional State League – Northern Inland Finals Results
Ladder „ Results
Semi Final 1: Glen Innes 52 def Armidale 45
Semi Final 2: Tamworth 33 def Moree & District 19
Prelim: Armidale 39 def Tamworth 38
Grand Final: Glen Innes 85 def Armidale 32
Ladder „ Results
Semi Final 1: Group 14 49 def Tamworth 37
Semi Final 2: Narrabri 38 def Inverell 34
Prelim: Tamworth 38 def Narrabri 29
Grand Final: Tamworth 35 def Group 14 33