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HCCAFL: Sky’s the limit for flying Hawk Clare Cummings

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Cardiff Hawks star Clare Cummings can only dream of replicating her 2021 Hunter Central Coast AFL (HCCAFL) season.

In just her second year in the sport, the ex-soccer player kicked 10 goals in 11 fixtures, won the Anzac Day Medal for her performance in a 75-1 thrashing of the Warners Bay Bulldogs, made her debut for the HCCAFL rep side and led the way for a victory over South Coast AFL in Wollongong.

And, for good measure, the midfielder took home the Black Diamond Cup Women’s best and fairest award.

Cummings polled 15 votes to pip club-mate Danika Spamer (12), Lake Macquarie’s Carla Hill (9), Wyong Lakes’ Rebecca Ives (8), Terrigal Avoca’s Karina Brown (7) and Newcastle City duo Taylor Joyce and Meaghan MacDonald (7).

“It was lovely to win,” she said.

“It’s always nice to get individual honours.

“But, it’s a bit of a shame from a team perspective that we didn’t reach the end of the season in the right fashion.

“It was also nice to be in front of Danika, who won it last year – it was great to see Cardiff win that award again.

“However, not finishing what we started was disappointing.”

Cummings then capped off a stellar period on the field by taking part in the recent Women’s Summer Series for the Sydney Swans Red.

There, she joined more than 100 of the finest footballers from NSW and the ACT.

“The experience was great,” the dietician at John Hunter Hospital said.

“It was really nice to play at that higher level and be part of that professional set-up.

“The Swans provide everything for you.

“You’re also playing with some of the best players, so that was really good, too.

“We (Cardiff) boasted a strong representation there to be able to do it – and do it together.

“The past couple of weeks, since the Summer Series finished, we’ve been using some of the things we learned at Hawks’ training.

“We’ve got 60-plus girls running around at the moment.

“So, we’ve passed on a bit of the knowledge we’ve picked up or taken players to the side and shown them a few little things.

“I honestly think the girls have stepped up as a result of that.

“The younger ones, who played in the Summer Series, are sort of embracing a leadership role, too.”

It all bodes well for a strong season for the Hawks.

“I hope it’s a good year,” Cummings told the Newcastle Weekly.

“We’ve lost a little bit of experience throughout the team, particularly in the forward line.

“But, I believe our youth and juniors are incredible.

“So, I’m not too concerned at this stage – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

“Hopefully, we’ll be there at the end.

“Our goal is a premiership double at Cardiff, in the Cup and Plate.

“And, I think we’re capable of achieving that.”

The Hawks tackle fellow high flyers Newcastle City Blues at the Pasterfield Sports Complex on Saturday 2 April.

HCCAFL round one draw

(Saturday 2 April)

Black Diamond Cup Men’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Warners Bay Bulldogs v Singleton Roosters (Feighan Oval 1)
  • Bye: Maitland Saints

Black Diamond Cup Women’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Wyong Lakes Magpies v Maitland Saints (Don Small Oval/Northlakes)
  • Warners Bay Bulldogs v Singleton Roosters (Feighan Oval 1)

Black Diamond Plate Men’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Nelson Bay Marlins (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Wyong Lakes Magpies v Wallsend West Newcastle Swans (Don Small Oval/Northlakes)
  • Lake Macquarie Dockers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Tulkaba Park)
  • Bye: The Entrance Bateau Bay

Black Diamond Plate Women’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Port Stephens Power (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Gosford Tigers v Wallsend West Newcastle Swans (Adcock Park)
  • Lake Macquarie Dockers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Tulkaba Park)
  • Bye: The Entrance Bateau Bay

Black Diamond Shield

  • Muswellbrook Rams v Newcastle City Blues (Feighan Oval)
  • Gosford Tigers v Maitland Saints (Adcock Park)
  • Warners Bay Bulldogs v The Entrance Bateau Bay (Feighan Oval 1)
  • Bye: Killarney Vale Bombers

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