WITH eight players returning to the Nambucca Valley Netball Association 14s team this year, coaches Anne Peterkin and Mandy Spear continued to build on the team’s strengths from 2016.
Newcomer Kira Goodwin fitted into the team as though she had always been a part of it. With a few minor injuries, the NVNA 14s season started with an understrength team travelling to Tamworth.
The girls faced a variety of teams from Divisions 3 and 4, showing how competitive they would be this year playing nine games in hot conditions.
The next carnival at Newcastle saw a new member, Kate Payne, play her first carnival with a full strength team.
Grafton was the last carnival before the big one, and again the 14s showed how far they had come and played some tough netball.
Despite a preparation for the State Age Championships hampered by illness and injuries, a good side had was assembled.
Nambucca would be trepresented by defenders Bree Ferguson, Lucy Green, Georgia Heffernan and Lillah Hoffman, supported by mid court players Kate Payne, Bella Ronan and Kira Goodwin and sharp shooters Gemma Summerville, Tamsyn Spear and Jayda Rixon.
Thanks to the carnivals already played, the squad was fortunate to know over half of the teams they would face at Campbelltown in Division 4.
Day 1 saw the girls start out confidently with six wins from as many games. Day 2 was more of the same, as they finished undefeated and on top of the table.
Day 3 was going to be the toughest with Taree and Singleton in the mix, as well as other top ranked outfits.
The girls’ first loss came at the hands of their nemesis and eventual Division 4 winners Taree by two goals and runners-up Singleton by a single goal. They also had two other by one goal losses.
After the four losses the girls finished Day 3 with three wins and the championship in third place.
The 14s had an enjoyable time at State Age creating memories and friendships that will hopefully be rekindled next year in their final year of State Age netball.