WESTERN Region has taken out the prized Green Shield after a sensational performance in Bathurst recently.
The hosts won the 11 girls, 13 girls, 13 boys, 13 overall, 15 girls and 15 overall divisions and those results were good enough to give them the Green Shield ahead of perennial challengers Sydney.
Western junior co-ordinator Orange’s Mick Keegan said the effort his team put into training this year paid dividends.
“The players put in a fantastic performance. We always win a couple of individual age groups at the competition but it has been a few years since we last won overall,” he said.
“I think the main difference this year is that the kids have had a lot of training and they are really getting keen. We have a couple of good kids coming out of Dunedoo and they have been doing really well, playing in a lot of tournaments.
“The kids have been coming through and there is a lot of talent in the side.”
Keegan said Sydney and North Coast were tough opponents across all divisions but in the end, the talent within the Western squad was enough to get them home.
“The 13 boys went through the event undefeated. That team included the number one, two and three ranked players in the state so there was always going to be a good result,” he said.
“The Western team has some very strong players in it. They had the number one ranked Australian champion and the number three ranked girl and plenty of talent.
“We draw from a large region too with people from Moree, Forbes, Orange Bathurst and Dunedoo.”
The challenge now will be for Western to defend their title when it is held in Sydney next year.
“We have a good chance again next year. A lot of the kids in the under 13s are still in that age group for another year and the under 15s are in the same scenario so it will still be a very good team,” Keegan said.
The successful Western team included Orange’s Albert Cavelli, Jesse Keegan, Ryan Bushel-Keegan, Kieran Ryan and Morgan Mahlo.