FINAL STRETCH: Grafton wing attack Darcee Osbourne (right) playing in the recent Lower Clarence representative netball carnival against Nambucca. This Sunday’s carnival at Ballina is one of the last chances for junior representative teams to fine tune ahead of State Age Championships later this month. INSET: It was the end of an era on the weekend for Karlie Chevalley, who wrapped up seven years and more than 200 junior representative matches for Grafton when she played at the NSW State Under-17 Championships. PHOTOS: DEBRAH NOVAK
FINAL STRETCH: Grafton wing attack Darcee Osbourne (right) playing in the recent Lower Clarence representative netball carnival against Nambucca. This Sunday’s carnival at Ballina is one of the last chances for junior representative teams to fine tune ahead of State Age Championships later this month. INSET: It was the end of an era on the weekend for Karlie Chevalley, who wrapped up seven years and more than 200 junior representative matches for Grafton when she played at the NSW State Under-17 Championships. PHOTOS: DEBRAH NOVAK

Grafton girls go great guns at NSW Netball championships

OUR 17 years representative team performed very well at the NSW State Championships in Wollongong last weekend.

We would like to congratulate them on their outstanding spirit, admirable sportsmanship and unrelenting determination to give their very best.

Matches over the course of the three days were extremely competitive, allowing the girls to demonstrate everything they have learned and prove their immense capabilities.

They began the championships by stealing a win against Macleay, coming away with three wins from eight games on the Saturday despite injury and intimidation.

The team had another three wins on Sunday, however, the girls found it difficult to cover their injured defence against some of the tougher teams in the competition.

On the last day all players were fit to play once more and seeking redemption, tucking another five wins under their belt before the weekend's conclusion.

It was a highly enjoyable trip for players and executives alike, and the girls should walk away proud of their efforts and outstanding representation of the association, earning 12th place overall.

The team would like to thank Cathy, Tammy and Debbie for working alongside coaches Brooke Burton and Kim Blinman, and manager Fiona Gordon to make the trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Our association would also like to commend the efforts of the girls' parents for their endless support, especially Jenny and Trudy for scoring, as well as the Andersons for helping keep the girls fed over the course of the weekend.

We also give special commendation to players Karlie Chevalley and Brooke Lilley, who have played representative netball for our association for seven consecutive years. This means that both girls have represented our city in more than 200 games, and have finally concluded their junior representative journey.

Lucy Howard, Aimee Mitchell, Shonta Morris and Payton Slis have also reached the end of the 17s age bracket. We congratulate and thank all of these girls for their continued dedication to our sport, and look forward to their participation in future State League and Opens teams.

The 14 years representative team hosts its barbecue fundraiser this Saturday. We deeply appreciate every ounce of support offered by our regular Saturday crowd, and would like to thank you for continuously helping our girls make their way to the State Age Championships week after week. Every contribution makes a difference.

The carnival in Ballina this coming Sunday will be the last for our girls before they venture down to the State Age Championships at the end of this month. This will be one of the last chances for the girls to hone their skills and nail their combinations before putting a year's worth of practice to the test. We wish them all the best of luck.

Finally, we would like to remind all interested young and aspiring umpires that we are still accepting registrations for the Susan Pratley Clinic to take place on Saturday, July 4. The 9-11am clinic will be open for ages 6-10 years, while the 11.15am- 1.15pm clinic will be available for kids aged 11 and up.

If you are interested in participating in this worthwhile program, please visit us in the control building of a Saturday in order to register. The payment of $40 per child will be required at the time of registration due to limited spots available, so be sure to get in fast!



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