State hopefuls playing catch up

ORANGE Public School’s last chance to bring home a Primary School Sports Association state knockout championship lies solely on the boys’ softball team.

OPS finished seventh and third in its respective girls’ netball and boys’ cricket state knockouts, and faces Sturt Public from Wagga in its boys’ softball semi-final today in Blacktown.

Should OPS win, it will move on to the state final this afternoon.

OPS co-coach Karen Ferguson said it was impossible to predict any result at this stage of the competition.

“It is very hard to tell how we will go,” she said.

“We know we’re playing Sturt, and pretty much nothing else.”

The blue and golds face a stern task in Sturt, with the Wagga school boasting the NSW PSSA pitcher.

Ferguson’s son Bailey also played in the NSW team, and she said the prior knowledge of the Sturt pitcher puts OPS in good stead.

THEY'RE ON THE BALL AT ORANGE PUBLIC

OPS coasted through the Western Region competition until meeting Bletchington Public in the final, which Ferguson’s team won in a tight affair. OPS then demolished Panania Public and Armidale Public in the final 16 and quarter-finals respectively to qualify for today’s games.

Incredibly, the team features just one regular softball player in Bailey Ferguson.

“We’re just so proud of the boys, they’ve made it this far and Bailey is the only one in the team who plays softball,” she said.

“It’s great to see the other boys get a reward for their hard work in developing their skills.”

Today’s OPS line-up also includes seven of the boys’ cricket team, and Ferguson said Bailey, Mitch Weekes, Jack Taylor, Hugh Middleton, Alex Wiegold, Sam Ridley, Max Powell would look to better Tuesday’s cricket result.

“I think third is the lowest they’ll want to finish here, they definitely want to play in a state final,” she said.

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