'ENTERTAINING affair' were the words use to describe the inaugural netballing event, fit with player profiles, sponsored students, and live sports commentary from the sideline.
In a first of its kind for the two Orange-based schools, Year 12 students from James Sheahan and Orange High School faced-off in rounds of netball for charity, raising more than $1000 for Mensline Australia.
Sparked by Sheahan student, Will Thornhill, the idea was birthed from there being no competition for boys - and he wanted to test out the squad's netballing skills even further.
"[They] play a weekly social sport competition against each other and staff and after participating in the netball rounds, the boys decided they would like to form a team to compete against other schools," James Sheahan's PDHPE teacher, Sue Dean said.
Joining forces, Ms Dean and Mr Thornhill approached an "excited and supportive" Orange High School with the idea, setting the showdown for June 28.
Entering two teams from either school, the first-time event would also end up stretching beyond the court - with the idea to connect the anticipated gig to a good cause.
"Knowing the benefits provided by physical activity, social connectedness and having good support networks, Will emphasised the importance of linking this fun event with the issue of men's mental health," Ms Dean said.
"Men's Health Week was recognised during the month of June and in support of this, Mensline Australia was chosen by Will as the charity that the competition would be named after."
Will [Thornhill] emphasised the importance of linking this fun event with the issue of men's mental health.- James Sheahan's PDHPE teacher, Sue Dean
Officially dubbed the 'Mensline Cup', four teams battled it out on the day, eventually narrowing down to the top two teams in the grand final, 'JSCHS Blue' and 'OHS Gold'.
Adding intensity to create the perfect sporting atmosphere, players were cheered onto the court, running through tunnels of supporters from their respective schools.
Australia's national anthem was performed with an Indigenous Welcome to Country as well, just prior to the whistle formally starting play.
"The grand final was a display of high-quality and competitive netball from both teams," Ms Dean said.
"An entertaining and nail biting affair, fittingly; scores were locked at 17 all at full-time."
Following five minutes of extra time each way, the board tipped in favour of JSCHS Blue, displaying a final score of 26 points to 21 in Sheahan's Mercy Hall.
'Player of the Games' was awarded to OHS shooter and defender, Zeke Miller for his skillful and versatile play in the circle, who was sponsored by the Wynne family.
As chosen by the umpires, the grand final's Most Valuable Player went to JSCHS Blue's centre and Mr Thornhill's twin brother, Hughie Thornhill - who was awarded for his "outstanding control of the game in attack and defence."
With all proceeds going directly to the Mensline Australia organisation, Mr Thornhill is already preparing for the next annual event, to be held in 2023.
Putting a timeline and plans in place for Sheahan's current Year 11 boys to take over, Mr Thornhill hopes that the Mensline Cup will continue for many years to come.
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