NHRL: Mallabula ladies on top of the B-grade league tag table

PROUD: The Mallabula Panthers ladies league tag team with coach Derek Coxon (back left). The minor premiers have had a remarkable season and now prepare for their first finals appearance.
PROUD: The Mallabula Panthers ladies league tag team with coach Derek Coxon (back left). The minor premiers have had a remarkable season and now prepare for their first finals appearance.

A minor premiership is no small feat to the Mallabula Panthers ladies tag team.

After finishing the 2017 league tag season season in last place, a top-of-the-table 2018 finish and spot in the finals is a proud accomplishment, especially for the seven players that featured in both squads.

Emma Thompson, who captains the team with Caitlin De Pater, said the recipe to their success this season is a combination of determination, the players ‘gelling’ and fun.

“Compared to last year, we're a lot better at playing together and we have a better energy,” she said. “We go out there and have fun, but we're determined and eager to win.”

The Panthers will face Stroud in the major semi-final at Lakeside on Saturday from 9.45am.

Stroud has been one of the Panthers biggest rivals in NHRL's B-grade competition this season.

However, Thompson said the Panthers are going into the semi full of confidence.

“We beat Stroud with just 10 players on the field and no reserves,” she said. “If we can do that, we can beat them will a full team.”

Coach Derek Coxon said he was “very happy” with his team’s performance this year.

“We focused on making training and playing together fun,” he said. “Last year, the girls stressed too much about results.

“This year they’ve relaxed but stuck to their guns. They’ve gone up against some really good, strong towns like Stroud and come out on top.”

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