They may have been known as the 'B' team, but no-one will underestimate these NSW Blues any more.
The Blues, which are the state's second team, shook off the underdog tag to win the open women's title at the Australian Indoor Hockey Festival at Unanderra.
NSW held on for a thrilling 4-3 win over Western Australia in the gold medal clash on Tuesday afternoon.
The winning side featured Illawarra pair Kelsey Hughes and Comfort Ferguson.
Hughes, of Wollongong, told the Mercury she was delighted to help the Blues secure victory.
"It was a really exciting moment for us, especially being the second grade B team," she said.
"It was quite nerve wracking going to the game, but we backed ourselves and knew we had the potential to win."
Both teams came out and showed a physical presence in the first two quarters. However, despite numerous shots on goal, the score remained at nil-all at half time.
Western Australia hit the scoreboard two minutes into the third quarter via captain Lauren Austin.
The Blues peppered their opponent's defence for most of the quarter without luck. However, with 52 seconds remaining until the break, Kiarra Marsh helped NSW draw level at 1-all.
The visitors again started the quarter well, with Austin scoring in the first minute to help Western Australia take a 2-1 advantage.
But the Blues refused to give in and were rewarded when Emma Corcoran scored with six-and-a half-minutes remaining to draw level at 2-all.
NSW then took the lead for the first time in the grand final when Litiana Field scored.
Blues team mate Kiarra Marsh followed up with a goal soon after - her second of the game - to help NSW take a 4-2 lead.
Austin managed a consolation goal on the siren to complete her hat-trick, but Western Australia fell short by 4-3.
"It was a tough, physical grand final, there were a few cards given. But it was really good," Hughes said.
The Blues had already sprung a major upset when they beat NSW's top side in a thrilling semi-final on Tuesday morning.
The Blues fought back from 5-1 down to secure a 5-all draw before winning 5-4 in a shootout to advance to the grand final.
"It was very hard to step up against a lot of friends and a lot of people that we regularly play with," Hughes said.
"But it was good to back ourselves. We had nothing to lose and it was just a great moment for us."
NSW's top team - which included Illawarra's Kyah Gray and Emma McLeish. - bounced back to beat Victoria 4-1 in the bronze medal game.
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