Bathurst backs up regional league gong with state championship crown

CHAMPIONS: Bathurst Netball Association's Carina Floyd grabs a pass during her side's win over Hawkesbury. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
CHAMPIONS: Bathurst Netball Association's Carina Floyd grabs a pass during her side's win over Hawkesbury. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Three days, 18 games, 18 wins.

A few months after becoming the first team outside Orange to win the Central West Regional League in over two decades, Bathurst continued its impressive form by clinching the Netball NSW Samsung State Championship division two crown. 

Going into the tournament brimming with confidnce, the Michael Germech-coached Bathurst outfit dominated, going through last weekend’s NSW titles unbeaten and untroubled for the most part.

It marked the first time since Orange’s success in 2014 that a central west outfit has clinched a Netball NSW state title at opens level.

Bathurst not only went undefeated through three packed days of competition, but boasted the best attacking and defensive records in the division as well.

“If you look at the 10 players we’ve got in our team, there are no weaknesses anywhere on the court. We never had to rest anyone or play weaker players, while a lot of the other teams had players in certain positions that weren’t as strong,” Germech said.

“As the weekend went on, we realised we were a pretty good chance of winning.”

Bathurst finished on 36 points, with Hawkesbury City four back in second.

Germech’s side beat Hawkesbury by five points in its third game of the carnival, making a strong start with six consecutive wins on day one.

Glen Innes, the eventual fourth finishers, was also undefeated after day one but on Sunday Bathurst pulled clear at the top of the ladder.

“On Sunday we played a lot of the weaker teams and we really started to build a lot more confidence, certainly that success meant we went into the final day confident,” Germech said.

“We were clearly a patch above just about every other team. The other teams hadn’t played together as often in tough games, for us when the chips were down we just kept getting the job done, we knew how to win.”

The victory has earned Bathurst promotion into the championship division next year and already the coach and his players are looking forward to testing themselves in the top tier.

The next assignment for Germech’s side will be the State Cup in September, an event for the top regional and metropolitan teams.