GROUP Nine surprise-packet Albury have finished the inaugural Young Leaguetag Carnival with a win more valuable than the competition’s top prizemoney.
While perennial Group 20champions Leeton are celebrating yet anotherleaguetagtitle, Albury are coming to terms with success of a different kind.
Thunder have ended an incredible sporting legacy by defeating Group Nine rival Brothers 6-nil at the fledgling championships.
The win will provide an immeasurable confidence boost for the new-look Albury team, as the squad prepares for the start of the Group Nine season.
“Brothers are the absolutebenchmark team of the Group Nine leaguetag competition,” coach Mark Daly said.
“No one has beaten them in years, so for us to do it so early in the season is just a great achievement for the girls.”
The win over Brothers paved the way for Albury to face eventual winners Leeton in an “exciting” semi-finalshowdown that went down-to-the-wire.
“The Leetongame was very exciting. The score ended up14-12,but they (the Greens) onlyscored in the last minute,” Daly said.
“It wasvery close. I am very happy with how the girls performed, especially since Leeton went on to win the final.
“It just goes to show how close the girls were.”
The much-favoured Group 20 powerhouse emerged victorious from the inaugural Young LeaguetagCarnivalafter an outstanding grand final performance.
The Greens lived up to expectations by accounting for Group Nine heavy-weight Temora 10-6 in Sunday’s grand final.
The win is helping generate plenty of anticipation ahead of the start of the Group 20 competition, which will see the Greens and rival West Wyalong share early favouritism.
Albury’s efforts at the carnival have seen Thunder leave a lasting impression on their rivals ahead of the upcoming Gundagai carnival on March 28.
“We have a few new faces and we have a lot ofnew structures in place,” Daly said.
“I amreally happy with how things are coming together. The team has a bit more experience and it’sshaping up as a really strong little squad.
“They improved in every game they played (in Young), and they are only going to go from strength to strength now.”
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