FOR the first time in the City of Orange Touch Association, a girls team has brought home a New South Wales Junior State Cup title.
The Orange Thunder under 10 girls dominated all before them as they romped home to claim the Tirado Cup in Port Macquarie last weekend.
The Thunder went through the tournament undefeated in what coach Glenn Prestiwidge labelled a “huge result”, but more incredible was the emphatic manner the girls won each game in.
The under 10 girls Thunder team’s for and against was 73-11. In the group stage, Orange easily accounted for Wests Magpies (8-1), Forster-Tuncurry (13-1), the Beresfield Bandits (12-0) and the Hornsby Lions (10-1) before moving on to the finals series.
In the round of 16 Orange annihilated the Berkeley Vale Panthers 17-2, before whalloping the Hills Hornets 17-2 in the quarter-final. Muswellbrook pegged Orange back a little bit in the semi-final, with the Thunder winning 9-0. Seemingly, the comparitively close penultimate game did nothing but motivate Orange.
The Thunder went on to win the final, and secure the Tirado Cup, 21-2 over the Northern Beaches Renegades. Hayley Prestwidge was named played of the final by the NSW selectors.
“It was pretty incredible,” Prestwidge said.
“The girls just played very, very well. They’re very structured, and they have great ball skills. A lot of girls that age can barely catch the ball whereas our girls are passing both ways now.”
Several other Thunder teams pushed for titles, particularly the under 14 boys, who finished runners-up in the Yiangou Cup.
Orange went through the group stages and preliminary finals undefeated before meeting a versatile Newcastle City Knights team in the final, losing 9-2.
The under 12 girls bowed out in the quarter-finals, and the under 14 girls lost in the round of 16.