ORANGE shooter Mardi Aplin believes her side’s win over Baulkham Hills in the City versus Country Challenge at the HeartKids Cup has given it the confidence it needs to be successful in the division one state championship this season.
After going down 61-34 in the same game in last year’s inaugural HeartKids Cup final, the 17-time Central West State League champions mustered up one of its most inspired performances in years to defeat Baulkham Hills 33-28 last Saturday.
Leading at the end of each quarter, Orange’s five-goal triumph was based largely on a 11-4 second quarter effort and helped secure the side second place on the overall ladder following two days of netball.
It’s the perfect win in the lead-up to Orange’s biggest representative season in years.
Orange will make the jump up to the Netball NSW division one state championship after taking out the 2012 division two title undefeated last year, winning 16 straight games in the side’s first venture back into the state championship caldron since 1998.
Before the HeartKids Cup on the weekend, Aplin saw the looming state championship as her side’s biggest challenge.
After defeating Baulkham Hills, she now believes Orange has the talent to match it with the best.
“Most definitely. To win a minor state championship last year then beat Baulkham Hills on the weekend... it gives the team a lot of confidence ahead of the championships again,” Aplin enthused following the successful HeartKids charity event.
She added, for the side’s first hit-out of the season, the two-win-and-two-loss record was a pleasing result.
“To be honest, I always knew we had fantastic players in Orange and in the side picked for the weekend, but we probably exceeded my expectations,” Aplin said.
“I liked to think we would get closer to Baulkham Hills this year than last, but to beat them was just fantastic.
“We lost to the men by a couple, lost to Canberra by one, everyone was pretty even one way or another. We came second but that was only on a countback.”
Last weekend’s action was just the second instalment of the HeartKids Cup.
Although the final tally isn’t yet in, Aplin said it the money raised for the HeartKids Foundation will be in the thousands of dollars.