It's not often a rival coach calls to personally congratulate an opposing team - especially after defeating that team by 25 points.
But that's exactly what Orange Netball Association coach Linda Macleod did on Sunday night, after her division one Orange Thunder side - last year's winners - downed Dubbo 65-40 in the opening round of the Netball NSW Bing Lee West-Central West Regional League.
"The score did not indicate the closeness of the game," Dubbo Netball Association president Karen Weekes said.
"So much so that the Orange coach actually rang us on Sunday night to say how impressed she was and congratulate us on how we had pushed Orange for the entire game."
Dubbo's top flight team, coached by Sharon Andrews, then suffered a narrow loss to Bathurst (56-50), before defeating the Orange Lightning by a single point, courtesy of a "complete team effort" in a see-sawing affair.
Weekes singled out Monique May, Bec Weekes and Georgie Conway as the standout performers, but said it was "one of those days where everybody … committed, every single person in that squad played well".
Meanwhile Dubbo's division two side fell to Parkes (44-28) and Blayney (49-37) in Sunday's opening round.
But Weekes was extremely proud of her players, who were aged between 14 and 17 and held their own against women sometimes twice their age.
"Division two lost our second game but that was more through us trialling different positions and it was pleasing to see the girls trying everything to the best of their ability and building as a team," she said.
"We'd like to continue where we left off this weekend … and then for the girls to take back the skills they've learned back into their age championship teams.
"[Fielding a junior team in the regional league] is actually invaluable because these girls have to step up at a level that they don't play in age."
She said the girls had to "learn a whole new set of skills, in terms of building relationships, adapting to change and how to play at a more intense level for longer periods of time" - all in the space of just a 7-8 week campaign.
By contrast, their age championship campaigns have a 16-20 week build-up.
Weekes said "everybody was great", but singled out Eloise Bell, 17, and Ruby Eggert, 15 as "outstanding in defence".
The Regional Leagues' second preliminary round is on Sunday, March 24, and Weekes hoped to see both Dubbo sides pick up where they left off.
"As the president, I was so proud of the team spirit that was showed by every member of our squads," she said.
"I can't speak more highly of the camaraderie and the teamwork - it's … a really great thing to watch."