GUTS AND GLORY: Grafton resilience shines at State titles
NETBALL: Forced to endure wet and windy conditions, it would have been easy for the Grafton Netball Association's Under-17 side to only think of survival at the Netball NSW State Championships.
But survival was not going to cut it for the valiant group of girls, who put in a thrilling effort to come away with 15 wins from their 20 matches on the Central Coast.
Their strike rate just had the Grafton representative side outside the top four in Division 3 on for and against.
For team manager Brooke Burton it was a brilliant effort from the Grafton side.
"I think in the whole weekend we had maybe one hiccup where we lost to a side below us,” she said. "It was just brilliant from the girls.
"It poured all the way through the first two days of the championships, but our girls just played on through it. There was no whinging or complaining, they just kept playing their hearts out.
"I couldn't fault any of their game play, even the loss to Narrandera, which was our only loss to a side outside the top four, was probably down to a few 50-50 calls not going our way on the court.”
At times the conditions deteriorated to almost monsoon-like rain, but still the Grafton players powered through, led by a strong effort on the defensive end.
There was also minimal injuries for the Grafton brigade, which Burton said helped their chances over the weekend.
"We tried our best to do a rotation of the players throughout the weekend but I think in the end there was very few who actually had to be rested from certain games,” she said.
"The courts were like ice rinks on day one, so it is a bit of a blessing we came out of it without a serious injury. The worst it got was a jarred finger, which had to be taken for precautionary scans, but she was back on court by day three.
"Our defensive end of Parvan Singh, Sarah Rowe and Georgia Schaeffer were amazing. Considering that two of the girls had joined us from other associations and the three had never played together, it was amazing to see them work as a unit.”
Lower Clarence Netball Association finished one spot below Grafton on the ladder, with the same record of 15 wins and five losses for the weekend.