THE TAMWORTH Open A netball grand final has been an annual showdown between Healthy Inspirations and the South Bowlo Kangawallafoxes for a few years now and Saturday’s 2012 decider was another instalment of that rivalry.
This time it was Healthy Inspirations who took the big prize after a 48-36 win built on a strong second- half performance.
“They won it last year and we won it the year before that so it’s been toing and froing,” Healthy Inspirations’ goal shooter Deb Tufrey said.
“But three of us aren’t going to play again next year so it was good to go out on a winning note.”
There wasn’t much between the sides in the first half.
In the second, Healthy Inspirations forged ahead and then held its advantage.
“We went ahead but then they came back and I think we were down by one at halftime,” Tufrey said.
“But then we were up by seven or eight after three quarters and won by 12.
“Our combinations worked better in the last half.”
The grand final effort was a culmination of a season’s effort.
One of the keys was keeping the South Bowlo shooters quiet and that seemed to work.
“Penny Westman and Melissa Broderick were good in our defence,” Tufrey said.
“One of their shooters, in my opinion, didn’t shoot as well as she normally does and I think that was down to our defence.
“But all year we’ve gelled as a team.
“There’s been no major injuries or disagreements and we all have fun and support each other and everyone puts in 100 per cent.
“It was a real team effort.”
There were some thrillers in some of the other grades.
The closest finish was in the 13/14A grand final, with Carinya Wrens beating MCC Diamonds by a single goal.
WV Nemingha Sapphires only beat Carinya Robins by two in the 11/12C decider and the same margin saw South Bowlo Ravens take the 15/16B title from Carinya Blackbirds.
There was also only two points in the Open C grand final in which Manilla Flaming Jets beat South Bowlo Fever 54-52 while only three points separated Calrossy Ibis (40) and Manilla Tornadoes (37) in the 17/18s’ big one.
Peel Stars (37) also got up by three over Carinya Finches (34) in the 13/14C decider and Tamworth South Spirit won by the same margin against St Ed’s Skittles in the 11/12A grand final.