Poise under pressure nets Narelle trophy
Narelle Humphries admitted there were plenty of nervous moments in the final quarter of last Saturday’s grand final as her side Royals Saints 1 fought tooth and nail to hold off a rampant Magpies 1.
An outstanding defensive performance from Humphries earned her the prestigious Lucille Holt Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the player judged best on ground in the decider.
Opposed to star Magpies shooter Brittany Finigan in the first half, Humphries produced some terrific intercepts and helped negate Finigan’s impact in the second term as she hit two of six attempts.
Finigan got on top in their match-up in the third term as she dragged Magpies back from 10 goals down but Humphries’ poise and composure in the final 15 minutes was vital.
She, along with goal keeper Amber Congram, helped steady Royals Saints on a couple of occasions, with their desperate defending in the final minute pivotal in the one-goal victory.
“I knew (Magpies) would come back; it was always going to be close,” Humphries said. “Our coach Carly (Szczecinski) said our win was going to be in the defence end and we worked really hard.
“Britt is so tough to play against. She is really quick and obviously really short and I’m tall, so I look around and she’s ducked behind me and has got the ball.
“Honestly, it is a big privilege to win the award. I said when I started playing A1, I want to win that award one day and now I have, but I couldn’t have done it without my team.”
Humphries was playing in the same team as twin sister Nardia Humphries, who was in fine touch at the opposite end and won the Lucille Holt award in Royals Saints’ 2017 premiership victory over the same opponent.
“I like playing with Nardia,” she said. “She frustrates me when she can’t put the ball in the hole after I work my butt off, but after that game she said to me ‘you deserve the award’, so that means a lot to me.”
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