STEPH Halpin has made the most of her first season of ladies league tag by being named the player of the grand final in the North Tamworth Bears win over Dungowan.
The former Australian Touch Football representative scored a hat-trick in the 30-14 win, to help the Bears finish the season undefeated. Halpin described her hat-trick as "pretty special".
"Normally I'm givin' them the ball and they're scoring on the wings," Halpin told the Leader.
"But today I had a bit of luck, and it was off the back of hard work from the girls.
"So, really happy with the effort."
The Bears were made to work for their victory after the scores were locked at 14-14 at the end of regular time.
From there, Halpin scored two of her three tries in extra time to seal the win for the Bears.
"They made us dig deep for it, which is exactly what you want in a grand final," she said.
"Mate, I am absolutely stoked to win a grand final in my first season of league tag."
Halpin said she was confident league tag would continue to grow over the coming years.
"I come from a touch footy background, but I've really enjoyed playing alongside all of the girls this year," she said.
"It's been a lot of fun and it is good to see a lot of the other teams really improving.
"I think the future of this competition ins looking really strong."
Bears co-coach James Cooper said Halpin had been "a massive inclusion" for the Bears this season.
"Steph has had a terrific season and is really used to playing at a high level, having previously played for Australia," Cooper said.
"She always puts in a consistent performance and more importantly, brings her team members up another level as well.
"It was a great performance and she thoroughly deserved the award."