Orange Public crowned state champs

ORANGE Public School had been waiting almost three decades to win another NSW Primary School Sport Association boys' softball state title.

Until today.

Thumping Newport Public 12-0 in the state final in Blacktown, OPS brought home the plaque for the first time since 1986.

"It's just incredible," co-coach Karen Ferguson said.

"It's an amazing effort from the boys, you could feel their excitement."

After overcoming Wagga's Sturt Public 5-3 in the semi-final early in the day, OPS made light work of their Manly-based opponents in the afternoon.

"The first game was tough," Ferguson said.

"Realistically, Sturt were a better team than Newport and beating them in the semi gave our boys a huge amount of confidence leading into the final."

STATE HOPEFULS PLAYING CATCH UP

Ferguson was reluctant to single out any individual players' performance and said consistency was key in OPS' performances.

"We hit well, that was the main thing," she said.

"Our on base percentage wasn't great against Sturt, but all the boys were getting hits away. I think it really helped them get their eyes in for the final. They played incredibly in the afternoon."

Just one of the OPS squad plays club softball in Orange, and Ferguson credited the boys' development and willingness over the course of the knockout as another main factor in the win.

"Leading into games we were training four, sometimes five time a week," she said.

"The boys sacrificed their time, lunchtimes mostly, to learn the game. The seven who backed up from cricket transferred the skills over well.

"It's good to see the hard work pay off."

OPS also had two umpires officiate on the day.

Aiden Kelly and Mac Reith-Snare overlooked the two games.

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