TWO Tweed River High School students have played an integral part in delivering NSW a national touch football championship.
Playing for the NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) open side in the National Youth Championships at Kawana, Queensland, Tweed River High Year 12 students Olivia Attenborough-Doyle and Tarryn Aiken starred in their side's eight-game undefeated run which clinched the national title.
Getting off to a strong start last Wednesday, the side - coached by Kingscliff High School teacher Les Watego - dominated their pool, defeating Tasmania 15-3, Victoria 12-1, North Queensland 9-3, the NSW development side 8-3, and the Sunshine Coast 9-3.
"We finished top of the pool and headed into quarters on Friday afternoon and beat the Brisbane Cobras 6-nil," Attenborough-Doyle said.
"We made it through to the semis on Saturday, and defeated South-West Queensland 6-2 to make it to the grand final."
In a tense final against QSST Queensland, NSW jumped out of the gates to lead by two points at half-time before their opponents came back in the second-half.
Both sides went try for try, but NSW gained the ascendancy and held their nerve to come away with a 7-6 win and the national title.
Attenborough-Doyle said the side were nervous after running out to sing the national anthem, but everything fell into place when the match started.
"We were underdogs and didn't not expect to win whatsoever. I just said let's work together for one another, let's just have fun, not put pressure on each other and have each others back," she said.
"We worked really well together and it just clicked. It was an amazing experience and credit goes to Les Watego, he was an amazing coach."
Aiken, an Australian representative in 2016, was named player of the tournament and NSW's MVP, while Attenborough- Doyle was the state captain.
The pair were the only girls from the region selected in the side.
In the boys' section, fellow Tweed River High student Josh Wilmott and Banora Point High's Nathan Glen also had a successful tournament, with their NSW side finishing third overall.