Narrabri Touch’s 2024 season mixed competition grand finalists are locked in following the preliminary finals that were contested at Hogan Oval on Monday night.

Sprayerbarn Spinouts (A-grade), Banksia Babes and Blokes (B-grade) and Touch ‘n’ Go (C-grade) were all victorious in the final knockout games to join the winners of the qualifying semi-finals – Just Gammin (A-grade), Win Or Booze (B-grade) and One Hit Wonders (C-grade) – in the June 17 deciders.

All three preliminary final matches were close contests, with two of them being decided by just one point and another being decided by two points.

The A-grade match saw Sprayerbarn Spinouts edge out Hammertime 5-4 in regulation time. Tori Allison and Connor Hill both bagged doubles for the Spinouts and their teammate Jock Small registered their other try, while Hammertime’s four tries were shared between Frazer Penberthy, Georgie Hancock, Lachlan Trindall and Harry Pattison.

The B-grade preliminary final was won 3-1 by Banksia Babes and Blokes over JWG Hounddogs. Blake Brown scored a hat-trick in that contest to guide his side to the decider, while Seamus Hunt crossed for the Hounddogs’ lone try.

The C-grade preliminary final was won 6-5 by Touch ‘n’ Go in a drop-off against Kerrigans. That match was locked at 5-all at full-time, with Lennon Simmonds bagging a double for Touch ‘n’ Go and his teammates Travis Heffernan, Caitlin Evans and Mark Rottger all claiming one try each, and Kerrigans’ Ryan Williams scoring a hat-trick and his teammates Thomas Wheeler and Asher Kelly also crossing. Rottger struck again early in the drop-off period when he scored the match-winning try to send Touch ‘n’ Go through to the grand final.

The A-grade decider is set to be a blockbuster affair between the two form teams of the competition.

Just Gammin finished the season ranked first on the ungraded ladder and first on the A-grade ladder as well. Including their qualifying semi-final victory, they have won 14 of their 15 games so far this year and drew the other as they head into the big dance unbeaten. They scored an impressive 148 tries across those 15 games at an average of a tick under 10 a game, and they only conceded 53.

Their opponents, the Sprayerbarn Spinouts, finished ranked third on the ungraded ladder and then second on the A-grade ladder. Their 9-3 qualifying semi-final loss against Just Gammin was their third defeat of the year. They have won 11 of their 16 games and drawn two.

The Spinouts and Just Gammin have met three times this season. Just Gammin won 5-4 in the first round of the year back in February at Cooma Oval, and they met again in the first round of the A-grade season under lights at Hogan Oval in the first week of May when they drew 6-all. Just Gammin’s qualifying semi-final victory at the same venue during the final week of May saw them prevail by six tries, but a much closer grand final clash is expected.

The B-grade grand finalists Win Or Booze and Banksia Babes and Blokes have had impressive seasons in 2024 and are also anticipated to produce a quality match in their decider. They both missed out on an A-grade spot by just one win as they finished locked on 24 points after scoring six wins, a draw, and four losses each. It was Win Or Booze who finished ranked higher of the pair on for and against difference, however, Banksia Babes and Blokes topped the B-grade ladder and Win Or Booze finished in second place.

The duo then met in the qualifying semi-final, in which Win Or Booze prevailed 7-3. That was the third time they have played against one another this year. The first was back in round four of the ungraded season at Cooma Oval in March when Win or Booze again won 7-3, and the second was in the first round of the B-grade campaign early last month when Banksia Babes and Blokes outscored Win Or Booze 6-2 at Hogan Oval.

Their head-to-head history makes it tough to tip a winner come June 17, but one thing that seems certain is they will entertain and there will be plenty of tries.

The C-grade grand final also sees the two qualifying semi-finalists go head-to-head on grand final night. One Hit Wonders cruised past Touch ‘n’ Go 8-2 in the first week of the finals at Leitch Oval, which was their third straight win in matches between the two sides in 2024. They first met back in round two of the ungraded season at Cooma Oval in February when One Hit Wonders prevailed 7-3, and the next encounter was in round one of the C-grade comp early last month as One Hit Wonders won an even tighter match 7-5.

One Hit Wonders are certainly the favourites in the big dance after they went four from four in May after the teams were split into their grades, but Touch ‘n’ Go have been one of the big improvers this year and can certainly get the job done if they are able to rise to yet another level.

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