Glen Innes High School’s netball side are the best in the North West after downing Tamworth in the regional final.
The Glen Innes side had a tough battle on their hands, playing in Tamworth with a vocal crowd supporting the home side.
The pressure got to the visiting team early who found themselves down by two at the end of the first quarter.
They regained their composure to begin piling the points on Tamworth and by the final whistle, Glen Innes had secured the victory 61-42.
“We didn't cope with the immediate, intense pressure of the game,” team manager Katie Rossington said.
“Tamworth came out really wanting to win and they had a crowd.
“The girls just pulled themselves together and every quarter from there we just went up and eventually we got away by 19 points.
“It was just a whole team effort. It is not just a brilliant shooter who wins us the game, it is absolute athleticism across the court.”
The Glen Innes side was young compared to their opponents which puts them in good stead for the future.
The side now travel to Wollongong at the end of the month to take on 15 of the state’s top school sides.
Rossington said it will be tough for the young squad but will prove to be a good learning curve regardless of results.
“We have a two-day carnival and they battle it out for a ranking,” she said.
“They will have teams of predominantly of 17-18-year-olds and we have one year 11 student and one year 12 student so the rest of the girls are 15-16 so we are a young side.
“In saying that, they are excellent and they are passionate and it is just good for their development as well because they will be together for a long time yet.”
Julie Fuller coached the team to their regional success and Rossington said her influence has proved to be the right ingredient in the town’s winning formula.
“The work she [Julie] puts into the girls, it wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't for her,” she said.
“And that rubs off on the kids.
“As a teacher at the high school, they need a teacher representative and I am so lucky I have walked into a team that is pretty much developed already because somebody has done all the hard work.
“As a teacher I am getting mentored by Julie and her daughter Kirstie because of their NIAS involvement.”
Fuller was thrilled with the team’s performance in Tamworth and said when they regained their composure, they put their opponents away.
“Our defence then was really strong, our shooting was strong and our centre court got a bit of a head rush at times but they settled as the game went on,” she said.
“It has taken a long time to get to this level and the girls have worked really hard for it.”