Newcastle were the big winners from the three-day Netball NSW State Championships.
Held at the home of the Baulkham Hills Shire Netball Association at the Kellyville Netball Courts, more than 1000 players in 103 teams representing 69 associations from across the state converged at the venue.
But it was Newcastle who came away with the best result, winning two titles - the opens championship division and the under-21s championships.
The open championships came down to the last whistle with Newcastle and Randwick both entering the final undefeated.
The final was decided by a single goal, Newcastle winning 17-16.
“It was amazing, very intense,” Newcastle co-captain Kimberley Williams said.
“I think we played really consistently all three days. We didn’t really have any shocking games that can happen at state champs so I’m really proud of what we’ve done over the whole championships.”
Fellow co-captain Mikenzie McManus said it was a tough and intense tournament.
The Novocastrians were dominant throughout, winning 14 of their 16 games by more than 10 goals.
“At state championships, you never know what’s going to happen,” McManus said.
“We knew it was going to be tough and we were really nervous but I think nerves are good sometimes. We had so much support from the sidelines and other associations as well which is awesome.”
Other winners were Bathurst (open division two), Manly Warringah (under-17s championship), Hastings Valley (under-17s division two) and Glen Innes (under-17s division three).
Netball NSW board member Ruth Havrlant said the State Championships was another great example of the draw of the tournament.
“On behalf of Netball NSW I would like to say well done to everyone who took part, organised and supported this year’s championships,” she said.
“The games are of an extremely high standard, with people all ages and abilities enjoying themselves.
“Friendships are made and renewed, the players go home exhausted with a few bumps and bruises but most importantly they come back the next year and that’s what it’s all about.”
Baulkham Hills club president Julie Poole said it had been great to host such a high-quality weekend of netball.
“It’s been a great weekend with excitement from the athletes who have just moved into the senior divisions, and relief from our more mature athletes that the weekend is over, but smiles all around,” she said.