Glen Innes has returned from a five-year Northern Inland Regional League hiatus in fine fashion as the division one team’s new guard produced the goods on Sunday.
At the end of regular time in the nail-biting grand final, Glen Innes and Quirindi couldn’t be split in division one of the Northern Inland Regional League at Tamworth.
The score finished at 41-all after regular time which meant extra time was needed to decide a winner.
Glen Innes gained the ascendancy in the opening seven-minute half of extra time to lead by four goals.
Quirindi fought back but were only able to reduce the lead by one as Glen Innes claimed a thrilling 64-61 victory at Tamworth.
Glen Innes coach Julie Fuller said the final was a fitting conclusion to the high-quality competition.
“It was really close and the standard of netball yesterday [Sunday] was something you would see in the Sydney competitions,” Fuller said.
“It was shooter for shooter, ours didn't miss, theirs [Qurindi] didn't either.
“The defence from both teams was tenacious.
“We have been neck and neck the whole competition.
“In extra time, the girls stepped up the ante – being young and their fitness might have helped.”
Glen Innes will now compete at the NSW State Cup in Sydney on September 24-25.
The side is primarily made up of players aged 15-20 and Fuller thought the regional league was the perfect preparation for all the young girls as they look to progress in the game.
“It was really good for these girls to have this level of competition before they go down [to Sydney],” she said.
The division two final wasn’t as close as Moree and District flexed its muscle.
The Moree outfit was too strong in the final to beat Narrabri 46-30.
In division three, the grand final went right down to the wire with Tamworth coming out on top 32-28 over Gunnedah.
Quirindi 41 d Glen Innes 37
Tamworth 26 d Group 14 24
Glen Innes 61 d Tamworth 24
Glen Innes 64 d Quirindi 61
Moree and District 54 d Narrabri 30
Quirindi 33 def Glen Innes 29
Narrabri 38 def Quirindi 23
Moree and District 46 d Narrabri 30
Tamworth 44 d Gunnedah 24
Armidale District 30 d Glen Innes 18
Gunnedah 29 d Armidale District 24
Tamworth 32 d Gunnedah 28