HAVING won the past three State of Origin Polocrosse series at the Bengalla Upper Hunter Show at Muswellbrook, the NSW team was keen to extend its victory streak to four at the weekend.
And, that they did, securing the side's 14th title, from 21 attempts, in the process.
It capped off a great occasion for NSW after Geoff Chesworth and his staff at Hunter Belle Cheese Café provided a beautiful meal for the official dinner on the eve of the series.
NSW captain Isobel Robinson and her Queensland counterpart Anthony Wells then introduced their team members, who briefly told the guests and supporters of their achievements.
Chris March, the representative of Glencore Mangoola Coal, congratulated all the players, wishing them the best of luck.
He explained how his company was pleased to sponsor the series once again, and could see the benefits and experience they were getting from representing their respective states.
NSW, coached by Bunnan's Brad Wamsley, featured Robinson (Quirindi), Gemma Stuart (NEGS), Julia Stuart (Narrabri), Tayla Ward (Sydney), Sam Finlayson (Guyra), Campbell Rose (Bunnan), Joe Wamsley (Bunnan) and Mitch Wamsley (Bunnan).
Queensland, mentored by Warwick's Kent Wells, consisted of Amelia Beck (Warwick), Grace Bredhauer (Chinchilla), Jamie Lee Hartwig (Wandoan), Monique Hoare (Warwick), Tom O'Sullivan (Dirranbandi), Wells (Warwick), Tom Sutton (Tansey) and Angus Muller (Dirranbandi).
The women began the first chukka on Friday, with the ride-on players for NSW being Julia Stuart, Robinson and Gemma Stuart with Ward on the interchange, while Queensland relied upon Beck, Bredhauer and Hoare with Hartwig (interchange).
Young NSW rookie Julia Stuart got off to a flying start, scoring three goals, with Gemma Stuart only allowing Beck to score twice.
Finlayson, Rose and Mitch Wamsley were in the starting line-up for the NSW men, to face O'Sullivan, Muller and Wells, who had a battle on their hands with NSW adding four more to the total to Queensland's one.
Chukka three saw the interchange players come into play with Ward (NSW) and Hartwig (Queensland).
The NSW ladies were able to bag two more goals to one.
At the beginning of the fourth chukka, NSW led by five.
And, Finlayson along with interchange player Joe Wamsley as the No 3 and brother Mitch as No 2 set about adding goals to lead by six at the changeover.
The fifth chukka, with the women, resulted in both teams throwing three goals each, the score being 15-9.
The final term saw the Bunnan connection come into play with Rose scoring five, well-backed by Joe and Mitch Wamsley, to finish the first game of the series with a 20-11 win.
The second fixture played late in the afternoon featured Ward, Julia Stuart and Robinson for NSW with Gemma Stuart as the interchange player.
Beck, Bredhauer and Hoare with Hartwig as the interchange player led the way for Queensland.
The opening chukka for the ladies saw a pretty even game finishing with one goal apiece.
As the men came on for the second, the line-up for NSW was Mitch Wamsley, Finlayson and Joe Wamsley as the defence player with Rose the interchange.
Queensland's Wells, O'Sullivan and Sutton were the Nos 1, 2 and 3 with Muller the interchange player.
This saw Queensland come alive as Wells threw five goals for the chukka and Sutton, playing great defensive polocrosse, only allowed NSW to score once.
This made it 6-2 for Queensland, the first time they were in the lead.
The third chukka saw the ladies section defending and attacking well.
NSW scored four goals to Queensland's one, leaving them still in front 7-6.
Chukka four saw both sides up and down the field, each scoring three goals and leaving Queensland 10-9 in front.
In the fifth, the ladies combination of the 16-year-old rookie cousins Julia and Gemma Stuart saw NSW score four goals to the one scored by Beck (Queensland).
This put NSW in front for the first time in the match 13-11 with one chukka to go.
In the final, for the men, Finlayson, Rose and Joe Wamsley put on a polished display of polocrosse to score four goals while Wells, O'Sullivan and Sutton could only manage two, giving NSW a 17-13 win.
Game three in the series was held after the opening of the Bengalla Upper Hunter Show.
All players were keen to get on with it - and Queensland playing for a win.
The ride-on side for NSW was Ward, Julia Stuart and Robinson with Gemma Stuart as the interchange player.
No 1 for Queensland was Bredhauer, No 2 Hartwig and Hoare was No 3, with Beck was the interchange player.
The NSW ladies got off to a good start throwing four goals for the chukka with Queensland scoring two.
When the NSW men came on for second, 17-year-old rookie Rose played the No 1 position, Finlayson was No 2 and Mitch Wamsley No 3 with Joe Wamsley the interchange player.
Queensland relied upon Wells, O'Sullivan and Sutton with Muller the interchange player.
NSW scored four goals to Queensland's two.
By this time, the weather decided to add some light rain which sent some spectators for cover.
The final four chukkas saw NSW post good scores and Queensland only managed to add some ones and a two to their total.
The final whistle resulted in a 22-9 victory for NSW to have a clean sweep in the 2019 series.
At the ceremony, Nathan Lane from Glencore Mangoola Coal, who has sponsored the series for the past few years, presented the winners of the awards with their trophies.
Stuart (NSW) and Wells (Queensland) received the Terry Blake Memorial Trophy and a replica to keep in winning the Champion Horse and Rider Combination.
Terry Blake Memorial Trophy
Glencore Mangoola Coal ~ Champion Horse and Rider Combination:
Queensland - Pria ridden by Anthony Wells
NSW - Future Dori ridden by Gemma Stuart
Best No 1 - Julia Stuart (NSW) Wrobel's Girlfriend
Best No 2 - Campbell Rose (NSW) Mathie's Boronia Costa
Best No 3 - Gemma Stuart (NSW) Future Dori