In the end last weekend's NSW Touch Football Junior Regional Championships belonged to the Sydney Scorpions but it was as thrilling a race to the overall crown as you'd see, with Hunter-Western pushing their metropolitan rivals to the absolute brink at Waratahs Sportsground.
Braving the bitterly cold conditions all weekend the Scorpions and Hornets dominated and, combined, the two regions claimed six of the eight available titles over the weekend, facing off in four divisions' grand finals as well.
The Scorpions won three of those match-ups, which proved the deciding factor in terms of the overall Regional Champions crown, their 91 points were enough to narrowly secure that title from Hunter-Western (89), with Sydney Mets (78) a further 11 back in third.
The Scorpions took the Hornets down in the under-12 girls' (2-nil), under-16 girls' (4-2) and under-18 girls' (3-nil) deciders and also won the under-14 boys' title, beating Sydney Mets 3-2.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game going into the final against the Hornets but I had a lot of confidence in my girls that we'd push through it, we had some good mentors on the sideline and it was a good effort," Scorpions under-18 girls' coach Roha Paki told NSW Touch Football.
The Hornets' pair of crowns came in the under-12 and under-18 boys' divisions, Hunter-Western beat the Scorpions 4-3 in the former and dominated the latter, comfortably beating the Mets 6-1 to claim their second consecutive trophy.
While the former Hornets side came from third to win their title the latter's was an emphatic one, the under-18 boys' outfit ran through the tournament undefeated, only being genuinely challenged once all weekend as they were held to a round four draw by the Mets.
Outside that 3-all deadlock the Hornets barely got touched. In the group stage they beat Sydney Rebels (6-nil), Northern Eagles (5-1) and the Scorpions (5-1), and hammered the Eagles 10-4 in the semi-final before their decider romp.
"The boys saved their best until last , they were outstanding in the final," Hornets under-18 boys' coach Darren McSpadden told NSW Touch Football.
"Throughout the weekend we lacked a little bit of discipline but we got that right in the final and that's where it counted, the boys did extremely well, they're an awesome bunch to coach and extremely talented."
In the other divisions Sydney Mets defeated Sydney Rebels 2-1 to win the under-14 girls' crown and the Mets beat the Hornets 5-3 in the under-16 boys' decider.
GRAND FINAL RESULTS:
- Girls' - SYDNEY SCORPIONS 2 def Hunter-Western Hornets 0
- Boys' - HUNTER-WESTERN HORNETS 4 def Sydney Scorpions 3
- Girls' -SYDNEY METS 2 def Sydney Rebels 1
- Boys' -SYDNEY SCORPIONS 3 def Sydney Mets 2
- Girls' -SYDNEY SCORPIONS 4 def Hunter-Western Hornets 2
- Boys' -SYDNEY METS 5 def Hunter-Western Hornets 3
- Girls' - SYDNEY SCORPIONS 3 def Hunter-Western Hornets 0
- Boys' -HUNTER-WESTERN HORNETS 6 def Sydney Mets 1
GOOD SPORTS TEAM: Sydney Scorpions under-18 girls'
REGIONAL CHAMPIONS: Sydney Scorpions 91 points; Hunter-Western Hornets 89; Sydney Mets 78