Western Rams nines title race too close to call: Egan

BANG: St Pat's new-comer Haylee Lepaio pushes off a Hawks defender in the final round of the women's nines competition at Bathurst. The two sides will meet in the major semi-final. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
BANG: St Pat's new-comer Haylee Lepaio pushes off a Hawks defender in the final round of the women's nines competition at Bathurst. The two sides will meet in the major semi-final. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

Western Rams women’s manager Sue Egan has been impressed with the 2017 nines premiership, so much so she’s stumped at picking a winner ahead of Saturday’s finals.

This year’s title race will reach its crescendo at Caltex Park on Saturday with minor premiers Orange Hawks, Group 10 league tag champions Bathurst St Pat’s, Group 11 league tag premiers Dubbo CYMS and a composite Castlereagh League side dubbed the Mountain View Misfits finishing in the top four and qualifying for the finals.

Egan has helped run this year’s women’s nines competition and says any of the top four sides is capable of taking home the title.

“It’s been great,” she said.

“We’ve had a lot of interest this year. It’s difficult in the off season, girls have had other prior commitments, but I think they’re all very excited. It’ll be a good way to finish.

“The Hawks and Bathurst sides have been the front-runners.”

Egan aided in the running of last year’s premiership too, with just six opens sides competing.

This year’s competition originally had 10, but Forbes and Nyngan both withdrew due to the timing of the tournament predominantly being in October.

Still, Egan said the improvement in this year’s competition after just one previous year of nines was drastic. 

“You can see the improvement in just one year,” the Dubbo-based Egan said.

“Once it grows it’ll become part of each competition. And if you don’t get all of (the clubs) you could do crossover games.

“There’s plenty of potential there.”

All sides will compete on Saturday’s finals day, with the bottom four – Dubbo Macquarie, Dubbo Westside, Oberon-Nyngan and Wellington – drawn in a consolation finals series.

Hawks and St Pat’s face off in the major semi-final from 10.30am, while CYMS and the Misfits play in the minor semi-final at the same time.

The grand final will be played at 12.30pm.

Games start on Saturday at Dubbo from 10am.

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