ORANGE’S champion netball team has proven itself to be the benchmark of country netball in New South Wales yet again following a dominant inaugural Inter-Regional State League campaign.
Building for the first inter-regional tournament since it was announced the competition would go ahead in July, Orange yesterday completed its State League assault for 2013 with a 69-36 win over Illawarra 15s.
Played at the Anne Clark Centre in Lidcombe, Orange led Illawarra by 13 at quarter-time, 20 at half-time and then 26 at the final change before running away with the 33-goal grand final victory.
The title comes just three months after taking home the Pat Weston OAM Country Champions Cup Orange won for being the highest ranked side at the completion of this year’s Netball NSW Open State Championship.
Orange coach Sophie Beer complimented another unbeaten campaign for the 18-time Central West champions
“They have done a fantastic job,” Beer enthused.
“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.
“Orange have 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.”
They did it, convincingly, all weekend.
On Saturday Orange defeated Coffs Harbour 72-51, Illawarra 15s 56-34, Lismore 53-32 and Glen Innes 73-51 to qualify for the major semi-final.
Then, with a grand final berth on the line, Orange defeated Illawarra 15s 51-41.
They then dominated the final against Illawarra to be crowned the best regional state league side in NSW.
Instrumental in Orange’s success throughout the representative season, shooter Erin Taylor lapped up the opportunity to take on some of the best sides in regional NSW.
“Coming out from regional areas, we love our netball,” Taylor said.
“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.”
Lismore finished the tournament in third place, while Coffs Harbour (fourth) and Glen Innes (fifth) rounded out the minor placings.