West/Central West proves tight after opening weekend

The 2015 GrainCorp Regional State League – West/Central West kicked off on Sunday 1 March in Bathurst.  With the first few rounds completed, the weekend produced some quality matches, setting up a tight contest for the remainder of the season.

It’s a record year for the region’s State League competition, with more teams than ever contesting five rounds, plus finals, including two newly created underage Divisions to help develop West/Central West’s young netballing talents.

All 20 teams participated throughout the opening day held at Bathurst Netball Association, with some very close games to start off the season.

In Division 1, 2014 Grand Finalists Orange 1 and Dubbo remain undefeated after three rounds last Sunday, setting up a tantalising match to close the round robin on Sunday 22 March.  They’re closely followed by Cowra, Bathurst 1 and Orange 2 all with one win and two losses, with two games to be played before finals.

It’s a similar story for Division 2 with Dubbo and Bathurst sitting atop the ladder, separated only by goal percentage after two rounds.  Parkes and Forbes follow in third and fourth, with the two playing out a tight contest to open the competition with Parkes just finishing on top by six goals.

In Division 3 (17/U Division) Orange remains the only team yet to drop a game, however not without some tough opposition.  Orange finished three goals ahead of second-placed Bathurst in their opening match, and will again meet their nearest rivals in their next match on Sunday 22 March.

Orange is also sitting atop Division 4 (15/U Division) with three straight wins, holding out Cowra, Condobolin and Lithgow.  Orange and second-placed Cowra played out arguably the match of the day when after an entertaining and hard fought contest, Orange finished just one goal ahead of Cowra to take honours.

While there was plenty of action on the courts, it didn’t just involve the players with 22 umpires from around West/Central West receiving mentoring and real-time coaching throughout the opening day, including from National A Badge and Netball NSW umpires Committee member Rachael Hughes.

The final regular rounds will be played on Sunday 22 March, hosted by Orange Netball Association, and will see teams battle it out for a spot in the 2015 finals to be held on Sunday 29 March.  Finals will also coincide with the region holding it’s West/Central West NetEd workshop, which will include all aspects of coaching, umpiring and Association information and mentoring – click here for more information on NetEd.

While teams will be gunning to be crowned the 2015 Champions, there is an extra incentive for the Division 1 winner with an invitation to contest the Inter-Regional State League at Netball Central – Netball NSW’s brand new $35 million centre of excellence in Sydney Olympic Park.

The 2015 Inter-Regional State League will be held on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September, with all Division 1 Regional Champions invited to contest the round-robin plus finals competition with the pursuit to be crowned 2015 Inter-Regional Champions.