HASTINGS Valley will send five sides down to the NSW Netball State Championships tomorrow, and while it’s the most number Port Macquarie and surrounds has ever put on the team bus, it’s also the end of an era.
Port is sending a 17s, 19s, opens, over-35s and 40s team down to the championships in Penrith, but it will be the last time the 35s and 40s will play in the same competition with the
They will have their own comp, starting next year.
“That will be the first and last time we’re sending this many,” opens team member Shannon Noble said.
The teams take in players from Laurieton, Wauchope and “almost as far as Kempsey”, and Noble expected all sides to hold their own in their respective competitions.
“Every one will be competitive in their own division,” Noble said.
The opens side has won its division before, but has been placed in a higher grade since.
Still, Noble was looking forward to success.
“The side’s been training very hard,” she said.
It made the final of the Hunter State League competition, but was beaten in the final.
Hastings Valley didn’t have a full squad for most of that competition, with a horror injury toll.
“We have the full contingent this time,” Noble said.
The side will need all its players, too. Hastings Valley could play as many as 25 matches over three days.
With no finals, the winner is “first past the post”, meaning the Hastings girls will have to be on their game the entire time.