ORANGE’S unbridled supremacy of the Central West State League has suffered a huge blow after Dubbo sprung a 28-27 upset victory over the 18-time defending champions on Sunday.
Played at Orange’s Anzac Park, Dubbo stormed back from seven goals down to claim the one-point win and add plenty of intrigue to the 2014 title race.
Previously a one-team race, Dubbo’s emergence as a serious contender for this year’s central west crown will provide the Orange A side, the current Netball NSW Open State Championship title holders, a massive test throughout the 2014 campaign.
It’s the first loss Orange A has received in recent memory.
And, if you ask Dubbo captain-coach Michelle Williams, the mantle of first team to knock off Orange A is one Dubbo has worked hard for in the lead-up to this year’s state league season.
“Winning against Orange 1 has been our goal since the end of last season,” Williams said.
“This year’s squad has been dedicated to training hard and improving their fitness with this goal in mind.
“All the players embraced this challenge and Sunday was the reward for our hard work.
“One of the things I noticed was that our fitness was up there with Orange and that’s one area that has let us down in the past.
“To be able to run with them and probably run the game out better than them was pleasing.”
Orange A defeated Bathurst 42-14 in their opening game, before knocking over Mudgee 36-21 in its only other game leading into the Dubbo contest.
Orange B suffered a 28-12 loss to Dubbo, before edging Lithgow 21-19.
Orange B then finished its opening weekend of state league netball with a confidence-boosting 31-28 victory over Mudgee.
The next round of Central West State League netball is on August 17.