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Charlestown netballers eye off grand final glory

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If Charlestown Netball Association players possess the same passion for the sport as their president Dianne Pascoe, then this weekend’s grand finals will be a cracker.

The organisation is preparing to host 13 deciders – across juniors, intermediates, cadets and seniors – at the Essie Toneguzzi complex on Saturday 27 August.

There, feeder clubs Kahibah, Macquarie, Dudley-Redhead, United and Central Newcastle, along with a couple of independent teams, are vying for glory.

And, Pascoe is buzzing with anticipation.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have completed a whole season after the past couple of years,” she said.

“It’s a very exciting time.

“At the beginning of 2022, when it was still somewhat ‘iffy’ – that Omicron might have returned – everyone was a bit tentative.

“But, as the season’s progressed, they’ve warmed to it all.

“We’re now keen for this weekend to arrive.”

The Charlestown Netball Association bounced back in the representative arena, too.

Three sides – under-15s, under-17s and opens – attended the HART Senior State Titles in June, while another three – under-12s, under-13s and under-14s – converged on the junior equivalent.

“It was great to see the girls representing the area again,” Pascoe said.

“The under-15s performed as best they could in the championship division – the top tier, while the under-17s placed sixth in division two.

“Our opens won division two and will now move into the championship division next year.

“That’s great for our club because it means we can attract more girls.

“Not that we want to take away from our own association, but you tend to pick up some additional better players.

“It just puts us on the map a little bit to say we’re up there.

“Overall, we have some good quality players at Charlestown.

“As for the under-12s, under-13s and under-14s, they weren’t so lucky.

“They played in ankle-deep water on the opening day – and organisers called the championships off after that.

“So, they have to come home and start again.

“Unfortunately, for the under-14s, it was their last year in that age group in juniors.

“They’ve trained for three seasons and, literally, not attended a full championship.

“It’s been hard for them; to put in all that effort for virtually nothing.”

Charlestown Netball Association president Dianne Pascoe is looking forward to this weekend’s grand finals. Photo: Rod Thompson

Hopefully, that disappointment will subside somewhat when the teams hit the court on Saturday.

A number of entertaining clashes are on the cards, including the senior A showdown between CNC Caution and IND Estetiko from 3pm.

“Everyone’s chomping at the bit,” Pascoe told the Newcastle Weekly.

“I’m now searching for top umpires and making sure all the games boast quality officials.

“Every one of our [feeder] clubs are represented on grand final day, in various categories, which is terrific to see.

“However, the main encounter will be amazing.

“CNC Caution enters the match undefeated.

“They’ve won every game, with one draw, which was against this weekend’s rivals.

“IND Estetiko, on the other hand, is a beautiful group of mums.

“They had to forfeit a couple of matches early on, due to COVID impacting their families.

“But, apart from that, they’ve won all their games.

“It sets up for a nice finale.

“In the other grades, I’m expecting all the deciders to be close.

“We’ve got a very good grader here, we know our players since we’re a smaller association, which makes it an even competition.

“That’s why I need a lot of good umpires.”

And, despite being the head of the association, Pascoe is quick to offload the plaudits for a strong 2022.

“It’s not about me, I need to thank everyone else,” she said.

“Especially, all the clubs for ensuring their players were on deck.

“I have a fabulous executive who goes ‘above and beyond’, as well as a wonderful secretary.

“I’m just blessed to be here, I love it.”   

The association will next turn its attention to its twilight competition, which starts on 10 October and concludes on 28 November.

Charlestown Netball Association

Grand final draw (Saturday 27 August)

10am:

  • Junior Black: CNC Canaries v UNC Skittles
  • Junior Blue: DRNC Stingrays v UNC Opals
  • Intermediate Blue: UNC Galaxy v CNC Charlies Angels
  • Intermediate Red: UNC Espirit v CNC Cupids

11.40am:

  • Junior White: DRNC Fairy Penguins v DRNC Reefs
  • Junior Red: UNC Storm v DRNC Angelfish
  • Intermediate White: CNC Cotton Candy v UNC Magic

1.20pm:

  • Cadet White: UNC Illusion v UNC Divas
  • Cadet Red: KNC Kaos v UNC Phoenix
  • Senior B: CNC Cylconic v UNC Zulu

3pm:

  • Cadet Blue: UNC Fusion v CNC Coyotes
  • Senior C: DRNC Roxys v KNC Sunsets
  • Senior A: CNC Caution v IND Estetiko

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