The Victorian Nuggets have won the women’s SILVA National Orienteering League after a dramatic finish at the Australian Relays in Tasmania.
They won the title by a single point after a 28-second win over the Queensland Cyclones. It was a head-to-head battle on the first leg between Jasmine Neve and Anna Sheldon, and continued line-ball for the first half of the second leg. Aislinn Prendergast pulled out a 2 1/2 minute lead over Bridget Anderson on the later part of the second leg. This was wiped out immediately when Kathryn Preston lost three minutes on the first control. From there it was a fluctuating battle throughout between Preston and Rachel Effeney, but in the end it was the Victorian who had the edge when it mattered, leaving the Cyclones short of their first senior team title by the narrowest possible margin.
The other National League title which was settled today was the junior men’s, where the Victorian Nuggets again prevailed, this time over the Tassie Foresters. This was a somewhat more straightforward race which was settled on the second leg, when Todd Neve opened a seven-minute gap on Stuart Lawrie. Brodie Nankervis pulled back a little of that, but the Nuggets were never under serious threat and won by five.
The senior men’s National League title was decided long ago in favour of the Canberra Cockatoos. They prevailed in the relay too, pulling away on the third leg after a tight battle with the NSW Stingers over the first two legs. NSW’s gamble in putting junior Kasimir Gregory on the first leg paid off, and Rob Preston was able to match it with Oliver Poland on the second, but Matt Crane edged away from Josh Blatchford to take the victory. The Queensland junior women dominated the relay as much as they dominated the rest of the season.
NSW took out the Xanthorrhoea Trophy for competition across the age groups. (Final scores were NSW 24, Tas 22, Vic 18, Qld 14, ACT 8, WA 5, SA 3).