The Group 4 Ladies League Tag grand final was a fast-paced and high-quality affair from the outset between the North Tamworth Bearettes took on the Dungowan Cowgirls in Dungowan.
The Bearettes kicked off and won the ball back to get the match off to a bright start, but errors and staunch defence stifled their scoring opportunities as Dungowan proved determined en route to a 12-10 win.
After some back-and-forth sets for the first few minutes of the first half, it was Cowgirls prop Karen Porter that crossed for the first try of the game and gave the home side a 4-0 lead.
Despite some attacks on the Dungowan line, North Tamworth could not level the score as the Cowgirls defenders made some spectacular tags to retain the lead.
The pace was high throughout the first half, with plenty of sidesteps, quick passes, and athletic defense from both teams, but the question remained - could they keep that pace up for the whole game?
At half time, the score remained 4-0 despite multiple scoring opportunities for both teams.
The same tussle continued to start the second half, but the Bearettes gradually began to get more looks at the tryline and hooker Steph Halpin crossed for North Tamworth's first try.
From there, the momentum sat firmly with the visitors as Dungowan struggled to retain possession thanks to a combination of good play from the Bearettes and errors.
Eventually Amy Barraclough gets a chance at a penalty goal and takes it from roughly 20 metres out on a slight angle. Her aim was true and took North Tamworth to a 10-4 lead.
There the score stayed until a desperate bid with less than two minutes left from Dungowan, who sent the crowd into a frenzy when Porter crossed for her second of the day just under the crossbar.
When Emma Carrigan's conversion was successful, the scores were levelled and the match was sent into extra time, which was to be decided by golden point with up to ten minutes of play each way.
The tension at the ground was palpable and every pass, kick, and fumble is met with a cheer from the supporters of either team now as both teams are playing desperate and highly entertaining football.
The first ten minutes of extra time goes without a point added, and in the 11th minute Cowgirls number 1, Georgia Horniman, is sin-binned for 10 minutes.
That does not deter Carrigan, who takes the chance for a penalty goal and slots it to win the grand final in dramatic fashion for Dungowan in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
Porter received wild applause when she was announced the Player of the Match.
"Exhausting," was Dungowan player-coach Brianna Trickett's summary of the game.
"We left absolutely everything out on the field. Each and every one of our girls, so proud of them.
"Congratulations to Norths, I said last week they're the benchmark and it was a great win."
Of the penalty goal to win, Trickett was "relieved".
"We got an extra ten minutes to keep slugging it out and get those points."
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