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Hunter teams celebrate success at Junior State Titles


Maitland, Nelson Bay and Kurri Kurri netball associations are in celebration mode after tasting success at the 2023 HART Junior State Titles at the weekend.

Thousands of players, coaches, managers and support staff converged on Camden District and Liverpool over three days, from Saturday to Monday, vying for crowns in under-12, under-13 and under-14 divisions.

After recently hosting the senior equivalent, Maitland proved victorious in under-12 division two, while Nelson Bay pipped Scone and District and Port Stephens in division four on a countback.

Kurri Kurri was unstoppable in under-13 division three, too.

And, for good measure, Maitland (under-13 Div 2) and Lakeside (under-14 championship) finished runners up in their respective competitions, while Callaghan District (under-14 Div 2) and Port Stephens (under-14 Div 4) each secured third spot.

Another highlight was the Hunter Netball under-14 boys, who returned home thrilled with a second placing.

“It was a fantastic weekend, especially with a first, a second and a fourth,” Maitland president Leearna Bennett said.

“All the girls and their coaches did an amazing job.

“The under-12s, thanks to Leesa Mannix, Emma Welsh and Kathy Bullen, went through their maiden year of state titles undefeated while the under-13s only dropped a solitary game.

“We’re very proud of everyone.”

The Maitland under-12s – Lacey Howson, Alana Barnes, Sienna Bullen, Evie Fox, Amaya Martin, Harper Polglase, Aster Smith, Nellie Constable and Annie Lidbury – dominated their opponents.

They chalked up 16 consecutive victories at the expense of Dubbo (23-5), Callaghan District (20-12), Bathurst (17-2), Westlakes District (20-7), Queanbeyan (21-9), Nambucca Valley (14-7), Hills District (15-13), Hastings Valley (22-4), Cessnock (18-10), Blue Mountains (25-3), Barellan & District (26-8), Wagga Wagga (22-13), Orange (23-8), Mudgee District (27-13), Inner West (17-15) and Hawkesbury City (19-18).

Callaghan District (10-6-0) locked down sixth, Cessnock (8-7-1) eighth and Westlakes District (6-10-0) 10th.

Nelson Bay’s under-12 division four champions.

Nelson Bay’s under-12s – Eva Hanrahan, Sophie Edwards, April Eggins, Millah Brown, Kaitlin Burgess, Liberty Phillips, Alyssa Schein, Talia Sloan, Emma Tibbs and Ciara Cullen – prevailed by the barest of margins.

They ended the tournament on 28 points, along with Scone and District (second), Yass, Port Stephens (fourth), Leeton and Lower Clarence.

But, Nelson Bay registered 223.71% to reap the spoils, thanks to its 14 triumphs over Inverell (16-3), Forbes (14-6), Armidale District (23-0), Woolgoolga District (7-6), Tumut (10-7), Sapphire Coast (19-1), Lower Clarence (13-2), Gunnedah (14-3), Cowra & District (13-2), Blayney & District (18-3), Yass (13-12), Wollondilly (12-6), Scone & District (12-8) and Port Stephens (7-6).

Ironically, one of the side’s losses was to Muswellbrook, who came 11th.

In the championship section, Charlestown (15-3-1) snared fourth – just four points behind winner Liverpool City – with Lakeside (13-5-1) sixth and Newcastle (1-17-1) 20th.

In division three, Kurri Kurri (11-6-0) managed sixth and Singleton (2-15-0) 17th.

Kurri Kurri’s victorious under-13 division three side.

Kurri Kurri’s under-13s – Hailey Callan, Milly Bridge, Addyson Gentle, Gracie Martin, Lily Mitchell, Brandi Shaw, Brodee Sunerton, Sunari Darmawan and Lilly Vella – also remained unbeaten.

They racked up 17 successive wins, accounting for Shoalhaven (24-9), Singleton (18-8), Southern Highlands (27-14), Tamworth (25-6), West Wyalong (26-10), Woy Woy Peninsula (28-7), Cessnock (25-10), Coffs Harbour (21-6), Cowra & District (24-5), Great Lakes (25-6), Griffith (25-14), Kiama (26-15), Ballina (20-9), Leeton (20-5), Lismore & District (21-7), Macleay (22-10) and Parramatta Auburn (25-5).

Singleton (13-4-0) booked fifth spot and Cessnock (8-9-0) 10th.

In the under-13 championship category, Newcastle (9-7-3) wrapped up eighth and Charlestown (7-11-1) 13th.

Division two saw Maitland (14-1-1) second, Lakeside (8-7-1) seventh, Westlakes District (5-11-0) 13th and Callaghan District (4-12-0) 15th.

Nelson Bay (13-4-1) led the local charge in division four with fifth, ahead of Port Stephens (8-8-2) in 10th and Scone and District (7-11-0) in 12th.

In the under-14s (championship), Lakeside (16-3-0) captured second and Newcastle (7-11-1) 12th.

In division two, Callaghan District (13-3-0) was the best of the Hunter contingent in third, from Maitland (13-3-0) fourth, Charlestown (6-10-0) 10th and Westlakes District (3-12-1) 15th.

Division three resulted in Cessnock (10-3-2) placing sixth, Kurri Kurri (8-7-0) seventh and Singleton (3-12-0) 14th.

Port Stephens (14-3-0) claimed third, Scone and District (11-5-1) fifth and Nelson Bay (8-4-5) sixth in division four.

Hunter Netball’s under-14 boys.

Hunter Netball’s under-14 boys revelled at Camden, too.

Coached by Anthony Jarvis and managed by Ash Robinson, the youngsters – in their second season – knocked over the Penno Pumas (12-5), Davidson (17-4) and Liverpool City (11-4) before a bye.

They then suffered a 28-5 loss to Tumut but bounced back to beat the NSW PSSA outfit 16-7.

A narrow 9-8 defeat at the hands of Manly Warringah relegated them to second, an outstanding outcome.

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