PHOTOS

2019 Hastings League final: Beechwood Shammies; Laurieton Stingrays

Player's player for the Stingrays, Dane Gunning.
Player's player for the Stingrays, Dane Gunning.

THE Beechwood Shammies have sealed the deal and charged home to win it for the girls in the Hastings League grand final decider against the South West Rocks Marlinettes.

The victory comes on top of claiming the minor premiership in a close race with Lower Macleay, and following through on last year's victory to reclaim the premiership title.

Coach Lefty Costigan said the team showed guts and determination all season and have earned their place at the top of the ladder.

He said the match at Lank Bain on Saturday (August 17), despite the 44-6 scoreline, put the side to test with teamwork the key to the Shammies' success.

"I didn't expect that we would win by that much," Costigan said.

"These girls don't realise just how much skill and talent they've got in the game - they undersell themselves.

"We've got two in a row now, we've won back to back."

Costigan said the advantage for the Shammies was the team's commitment to working together.

"They played as a team, they weren't individuals. We had good players but we were the better team.

"You can have a team of good players but if they don't play as a team it doesn't mean anything."

They didn't rest on their laurels though with the South West Rocks side proving their unpredictability in the lead-up to the final showdown.

"The first time we played South West Rocks was down at Kendall we lead 22-0 at half time. They came back and beat us 24-22.

"But the girls kept their head and pushed through to win this time."

The Marlinettes have proven they are a force in just their first year in the competition.

Costigan said the women's teams have proven they have has so much to add to the game of rugby league in the Hastings competition.

"They have certainly brought the love of footy back for me with the way they conduct themselves. It's going to take off and everyone I spoke to yesterday said it is just awesome."

Fullback Holly Auld, described by Costigan as a ball of talent, was named the stand-out player of the match.

The women's nines competition kicks off in October.

Tough match: The Laurieton Hotel Stingrays didn't have enough in the tank to bring home the premiership for 2019. Photo: Laura Telford.

Tough match: The Laurieton Hotel Stingrays didn't have enough in the tank to bring home the premiership for 2019. Photo: Laura Telford.

Meanwhile, the Laurieton Hotel Stingrays ran on to the field in the finals match-up with South West Rocks Marlins knowing they'd have some work to do.

Captain/coach Tom Maguire had a score to settle after losing 18-12 last year to Long Flat. He was determined to bring the trophy home in his first year in the captain/coach role.

The Stingrays won the major semi-final against the South West Rocks Marlins 22-8 to secure them the spot in the grand final and the side had strong hopes they would be able to repeat their performance.

But the day didn't go in their favour.

The contest at Lank Bain on Saturday was a tough one, with the Stingrays going down to South West Rocks in a hard 39-12 battle.

Maguire said the team's good form throughout the season didn't shine through and there was a lot more they should have done if the premiership was to be theirs.

"We played really bad, it is as simple as that. We couldn't hold the ball or tackle well," Maguire said.

He praised the efforts of halfback Pete Thompson who shone for the Stingrays delivering a good kicking game and ensuring he had the field covered.

At the end of the day, Maguire said the Marlins outplayed them but gave full credit to the opposition who came to win from the opening whistle.

But Maguire is ready to make amends in 2020.

"I'm disappointed but I'll be back at it again next year."

Tough match: The Laurieton Hotel Stingrays didn't have enough in the tank to bring home the premiership for 2019. Photo: Laura Telford.

Tough match: The Laurieton Hotel Stingrays didn't have enough in the tank to bring home the premiership for 2019. Photo: Laura Telford.