Dubbo Public may have been beaten in Thursday's NSW Primary School Sports Association Knockout western finals game but the team still earned plenty of praise.
Dubbo was edged by a strong Orange Public School effort on Thursday afternoon, the result causing huge celebration among the hosts after such a long wait for western area supremacy.
Capping off a preliminary campaign that kicked off all the way back in May the blue and golds held off a fighting Dubbo Public side at Sir Neville Howse Stadium, their defensive effort the highlight in ultimately winning 26-19 to progress.
"It's only my first year at the school so I wasn't sure how long it had been, but I've been told it's quite a while since we last made it to state so it's really exciting," Leasa Konza, who coaches the OPS side along with Lynne Middleton and Samantha Spicer, said.
"Dubbo did such a great job in the way they spaced the court and it was a really good game, the girls are all really excited to win but Dubbo played so well.
"There's been a lot of hard work gone into it so it's just great they get to go away to the finals now, we'll see how we go down there but just getting there is such a massive achievement."
The Orange side now heads to to Sydney for the finals on October 21, where they'll be pitted against the North Coast region's champion in the quarter-finals, with the semi-finals and state championship clash to the be played the same day.
In a battle of two outfits that, combined, provided the Western side with five stars OPS did enough to build an eight-goal lead by the final break before Dubbo pegged back one in a strong final term.
It wasn't enough though but getting to the decider was still a huge achievement in itself.
Following a round one bye the Dubbo Public side started its campaign with a dominant 50-2 victory over Dubbo West Public.
Further success followed, with victories coming against Dubbo South, Narromine Public, Parkes Public, and then Orana Heights Public to secure a place in the decider.