MUSWELLBROOK Netball Association’s tremendous success at the recent 2018 State Championships was rated a “terrific team effort” by coach Ian Ingle.
The local girls claimed runners up honours in the under-17 (division three) section, just behind winners Brunswick Byron.
Muswellbrook fell two points in arrears of their rivals on the ladder, following 19 wins and one loss, but finished with a better for and against percentage.
Neighbouring Singleton snuck into the top 10.
The talented youngsters dropped the first match to Brunswick Byron (23-16), then accounted for Mount Druitt (31-11), Tumut (24-10), Port Stephens (25-11), Mudgee District (22-8), Tamworth (17-15), Grafton (23-19), Macleay (27-4), Singleton (29-12), Kurri Kurri (27-14), Quirindi (30-2), Armidale District (19-7), Narrandera ((27-6), Young and District (37-8), Lower Clarence (25-11), Goulburn and District (34-8), Lake Cargelligo (32-3), Forbes (23-17), Blayney (23-13) and Eurobodalla (41-3) in an incredible streak.
“I’m very proud of the girls – and extremely happy with the result,” Ingle said.
“They had a fantastic weekend, supported by a great group of parents and grandparents.
“Our only slip-up occurred in the opening match [to Brunswick Byron].
“I think there were a few nerves on show.
“However, Brunswick Byron’s feeds to their shooter were just a little better than ours.
“I would love to have played them later in the draw.
“The girls produced a fabulous game against Tamworth, who had beaten us a few weeks prior to the carnival.
“We got away to a seven-goal lead early, only to see it start to disappear.
“But, Muswellbrook held on for a 17-15 victory.
“I hoped Tamworth could upset Brunswick Byron when they met – unfortunately, they fell two goals short.
“Other impressive results occurred against Grafton, Forbes, Blayney and Armidale (it was 6-2 at half-time before coming home 19-7).”
Ingle had nothing but praise for his young guns.
“The girls played excellent netball to win all their other showdowns, with some terrific passing, great intercepts and nice feeding to our shooters,” he said.
“First-rate shooting allowed Muswellbrook to score more than 530 goals for the weekend.
“We were also lucky with injuries, just a couple of blisters.
“I’d like to thank our host of sponsors – Muswellbrook Hotel, Royal Hotel, Melanie’s Jewellers, Zack’s Automotive, Scone Funeral Services, Muswellbrook Funeral Services, Finders Keepers, Woolworths, Rob Gordon Massage Therapist, Dimmock’s Meats and Regional Australia Bank – for getting behind the girls.”
The Muswellbrook team boasted the likes of Chloe Russell, Ella Drayton, Skylar Dever, Lucy Britten, Sophie Martin, Isobel Bates, Jacinta Ballard, Abbey Ellis and Mikayla Brown.
The event drew to a close on Monday after three amazing days of action at the Gosford Netball Association.
This year marked the 50th hosting of the iconic championships and 96 teams from 71 associations travelled from all over NSW to participate on the Central Coast.
It was an incredible competition, with spirits high despite the rain and grey skies.
But, the sun came out in full force to shine a light on the closing afternoon.
Manly Warringah captured the opens championships division, as well as the under-17 title (division one).