The first North West Rugby League Women’s Nines champions have been crowned in a thrilling finish to the grand final in Armidale on Saturday.
Rugby league nines teams from Northern NSW suited up for the Armidale Rams annual tournament which coincided with the final round of the inaugural women’s competition.
The Untouchables lifted the trophy following a last-gasp 16-15 win against Tamworth Rebels in Saturday’s decider at Armidale.
The grand final proved an epic contest and was only sealed after the final siren.
The high-flying Rebels looked set to win the prize when Amy Barraclough powered over the tryline with less than two minutes remaining, giving her side a crucial 15-10 lead. But Tingha would not be denied.
Playmaker Chokita Brown put up a bomb which bounced and quickly gathered by Sarah Byrne.
The flying Byrne then dodged a despairing Tamworth cover defender and crossed to make it 15-14.
That set the scene for Twylah-Rose Campbell to kick the winning conversion and spark jubilant scenes as the Untouchables created history.
The men’s competition was won by Orara Valley with a convincing 20-8 victory over the Tingha Tigers.
The men started the day with the local Rams boys lining up against Tingha.
It wasn’t a great start for the boys in blue and green who were touched up 40 points to nil.
It was a really good day for the club, a big crowd down there, some really good footy and just an all round good day.
"After the first game we were a little bit worried but they played very ordinarily in the first game, just kept dropping the ball but then in the next two games they played a lot better,” club president Terry Carson said.
"The game against the South West Robins they only lost it on the siren.
"Some encouraging signs that's for sure.”
The Armidale women started their finals campaign against the eventual premiers and in a tight encounter, were edged out 17-16.
Chip and chase by Kate McCulloch to score and they are now level with Tingha #sportsnow— Ellen Dunger (@ellen_159) March 11, 2017
Their narrow loss saw them then take on the Tamworth Mustangs and were comfortable victors 22-0.
Carson said the day was well supported and people headed out to support the four men’s and four women’s teams who took to the field on the day.
"It was a really good day for the club, a big crowd down there, some really good footy and just an all round good day,” he said.