Central-western New South Wales and the Calare electorate have a proud sporting history, and one of the most popular games in our country communities is netball. The Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup 2018 grand final was recently held in Orange at Sir Neville Howse Stadium. It was an absolute cracker of a game which kept crowds on the edge of their seats. After a long and competitive season, the Orange City Lions were up against the Orange Vipers in a battle for the 2018 premiership title. They are two outstanding teams. Only recently they had gone head to head in the major semifinal where the Vipers won in extra time. It was a close match, 46-43, and Saturday's grand final was also an extra-time thriller.
The first quarter saw both sides score nine goals. This was the first indication that the game would be a fight until the end. The Orange Lions powered ahead in the second quarter to lead 24-15. They kept up the momentum in the third quarter, with the scoreboard sitting at 34-26 in their favour. The final quarter of the game saw an incredible comeback by the Vipers play out on the court. The score was set at 35-all, but Orange City Lions scored two more goals, putting them ahead by the slimmest of margins. The Vipers held on and landed two more balls through the hoop to even the score at 37-all. Then, with only seconds remaining, the Vipers scored one of the most crucial goals of the game in the final seconds. They had almost secured their grand final win, as the score sat at 38-37. The hope of holding the trophy was taken away just seconds later when the Orange City Lions levelled the score at 38-all. The Lions kept up the pressure in extra time and claimed their 11th consecutive premiership, with the final score being 50-46.
I'd like to commend both teams on a wonderful game and also a wonderful season. Firstly, to the Vipers: despite the loss, they showed absolute determination for the whole game. They came extremely close to securing their first title, and I'm sure it will encourage them next season. Well done to their coach, Lynne Middleton, and players: shooter Nicole Thorogood, shooter Teigan Colley, Sophie Fardell, Em Callaway, Sheryll Selwood, Jacky Lyden, Kate Harris, Bridie McClure and Abby Tilburg. Congratulations, also, to the winning side, the Orange City Lions. What an incredible game and a wonderful milestone—11 wins in a row. What a tremendous effort. Well done to the team, including their coach, Cindy Gilchrist; shooter Milly Wilcox—Milly was awarded player of the final and deservingly so; centre Tegan Dray—this was Tegan's 9th grand final win with the Orange City Lions, an unbelievable effort; Sammie Spicer; shooter Kristin Zinga; Maddie Cole; Anna Matthews; Olivia McClure; Ellie Madden; and also Vic Briscoe. I have no doubt that both these teams will be back bigger and better next year.
Behind the scenes, the Orange Netball Association has a wonderful committee. They work tirelessly all year round for our local junior and senior netballers. I would like to acknowledge the association's committee members today. I would particularly like to acknowledge president, Jacqueline Jasprizza; vice president, Penny Keegan; secretary, Vicki Pearson; treasurer Jane Dennis; registrar, Naomi Escreet; senior competition secretary, Danielle Annesley; junior competition secretary, Louise Manca; midweek competition secretary, Kate Shepherd; NetSetGo coordinator, Bridie McClure; coaching convenor, Amanda Mooney; umpire convener, Danielle Escreet; representative coordinator, Michele Turner; publicity officer, Erin Campbell; and carnival convenor, Erin Losanno.
Committees are vital to any sporting club, and the Orange Netball Association is in very good hands with its dedicated, passionate and wonderful members. Congratulations to everyone at the Orange Netball Association—to the Orange Vipers, who didn't take home the silverware this year, but who put in a wonderful performance, and also to the Orange City Lions, who claimed their 11th consecutive premiership. Netball is a wonderful sport, played by both juniors and seniors right around the Central West. It is through the work of our associations and the support of the parents and players that these competitions continue to be so vibrant. I congratulate everyone at the Orange Netball Association and all the teams who participated this year.