All signs point to successful 2018 representative campaigns for Orange Netball Association after promising performances in last weekend’s HeartKids Cup at Sir Neville Howse Stadium.
Orange’s sides ran fourth and sixth in divisions one and two, respectively, and while she admitted they did battle at times against classy opposition the hosts, with zero training runs under their belts, were very impressive.
In the top grade Orange opened its tournament with a win over Canberra (36-26) before going down to GWS (35-27) and NSW’s under 19s (40-18) and under 17s (37-27), but finished with a victory over reigning champions North Shore United (35-29).
In division two Orange went winless but was far from disgraced, despite facing state sides and Samsung Premier League sides too.
“Some of these teams have nationally identified players all over the court so when you think about little old Orange having some more mature players (in division one), if I can say that, I think we’ve done a great job all weekend,” tournament coordinator and Orange division one gun Mardi Aplin said.
“Division two, they had a really tough division with the teams they were playing and considering they’re babies, a lot were from the under-15 and under-17 state age teams. It’s great development for them though and I’m sure they’ve learned a lot of lessons, they’ll be back next year.”
So will all the other sides, based on the feedback Aplin received following the seventh edition of the tournament – which has built from two teams originally to 18 last weekend.
“We’ve had so much good feedback and they’ve said they’ll all be back next year, the biggest issue might be fitting them all in the stadium next year,” Aplin laughed.
“We can’t complain though, it was an awesome weekend, a great display of netball and it’s just great awareness for HeartKids and that’s the biggest thing for us, helping them.
“I couldn’t be happier.”
Great Aplin pass, great Maier shot, crucial Fardell interception for an Aplin assist and another Maier goal. A big moment for #ONA in the final round of the @HeartKidsAust Cup, the hosts went on to win and finish the 2018 tournament on a high. pic.twitter.com/gf2rrURfAu— Matt Findlay (@MRFindlay24) February 18, 2018
NSW’s under 19s ended up taking out division one, while GWS’ under 20s won division two and Netball NSW’s development side triumphed in division three.
“It was a really good hit out for the NSW sides,” Aplin said.
Some of the premier league teams here had lost a couple of players to those squads, so it’s not overly surprising the 19s ended up winning.”