Fresh off the back of success the next age group up in Goulburn, Orange's under-13 girls have valiantly fallen short at the final hurdle at the Under 13 Indoor State Championships on their home deck over the weekend.
The side, playing in second division, went through their pool games undefeated with 91, 3-2, 4-0 and 4-1 victories before a tense draw with Southern Highlands in their first final saw them go through to the deicer due to higher position.
However, the Orange side couldn't overcome the other undefeated side, with Bathurst downing the hosts 3-1 in the grand final.
Coach Annie Pakinga said while the loss hurt, she "couldn't have asked for more" from her charges.
"It was a little bit disappointing because I thought the girls had the chance to win it," she said.
"Their goalkeeper played really well but a lot of our shots were just missing or the goalkeeper got it or we didn't take advantage of our short corners."
Pakinga said the Bathurst side's quick scoring was the main difference, with Orange holding more possession and - in Pakinga's opinion - more shots on goal, but it "didn't come together".
The girls were in good spirits [after the final] and it's still a massive achievement to come away with silver at a state championship no matter how old you are.Under 13s coach Annie Pakinga
"I'm really happy with them," Pakinga said.
"They didn't give up. Every time they needed to step up they did and I can't fault them.
"The girls were in good spirits [after the final] and it's still a massive achievement to come away with silver at a state championship no matter how old you are."
The side was one of three Orange outfits which took to the court at the PCYC over the weekend.
The girls had a second under-13s side playing in division three, with four losses from four group games.
Meanwhile, Orange's boys' side nearly qualified for finals on the back of a nail-biting group stage.
The side only claimed the one victory - a massive 9-0 shellacking of Dubbo - but drew 2-all with Illawarra and had two other tight, close losses.
The boys lost 6-5 and 5-4 to finalists Port Macquarie and Northern Beaches respectively, but absolutely stuck with the coastal sides the whole way through.
They finished with a goal difference of seven despite winning just the one game, qualifying for a consolation final, which they lost 6-3.
However, the community feel of the four-day event was the major drawcard for Pakinga, who said the number of parents and helpers staying back to help put the tournament on "was really special" to see.
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