Is there a more dominant dynasty than Orange's netball program?
On Sunday afternoon at PCYC, Lana McCarthy's Thunder capped off an unblemished West Central West Regional League campaign, trouncing Bathurst 60-37 in the grand final to claim yet another championship.
But, they didn't have it all their way.
Bathurst flew out of the gates in the decider, sticking it to the home side early on with a torrid pace and disciplined defence.
It looked anyone's game at the half-time break as the underdogs trailed 26-21 but McCarthy had some choice words for her troops as they began to turn things around, winning the third quarter 19-7 before running away with the result.
"We had to talk about what was happening in that first half," McCarthy said.
"Bathurst really came out firing and we knew they would. All credit to them, they put us under an immense amount of pressure and we got caught not playing our own game.
"We just went back and spoke about the importance of sticking to our own structure and our game-plan."
McCarthy dove into the specifics of the half-time adjustments and described exactly what their goals were.
"We wanted a bit more movement off the ball... we got a bit stagnant," she said.
"We just wanted to trust each other and start having some fun."
The coach laid out the instructions, but it was up to the players to put the strategy into action and that's exactly what they did as the likes of Tegan Dray, Ally Kaufman and Maddie Cole drew praise from the mentor.
"Tegan [Dray] is so incredibly important to have out there and to run that centre," she said.
"She just controls the game and brings that leadership and a sense of calmness.
"Maddie [Cole] came off the bench and gave a huge impact straight away.
"Ally [Kaufman] was very, very good and she had the confidence to turn and shoot which is what you want to see."
The Thunder were certainly short favourites to defend their crown but that doesn't mean McCarthy's role came without pressure.
Despite a new coach coming on board, Orange was still expected to win comfortably and now that they have, McCarthy's thankful and relieved.
"I'm feeling incredibly good because it did come with a lot of pressure," she said.
I am so lucky to have the caliber of players that I do.Lana McCarthy.
"I'm so lucky to have to caliber of players that I do. If they didn't welcome me in and were open to new styles and new coaching, I don't think we would have had the success we've had.
"A huge credit goes to them for being so coachable."
Orange reached the grand final by defeating Dubbo 61-32 in the semi. They might have lost in the final, but Bathurst put together a stellar campaign, amassing a 6-5 record overall and downing Forbes 63-58 in a razor close preliminary final.
Forbes and Dubbo battled for third spot, with Forbes prevailing 55-47 in a narrow contest. Dubbo finished the campaign with three wins, while Forbes finished with two.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: