As season 2012 gathers momentum the action is heating up in the Regional State League competitions with a number of titles to be decided on Sunday.
Following preliminary rounds hosted by Charlestown, Westlakes and Cessnock, the Hunter Regional State League heads into finals on Sunday.
Increasing from three divisions in 2011 to five divisions in 2012, the league has not only been a boon for players but coaches and umpires as well. Netball NSW was in the region on the first day of competition in Charlestown conducting coach and umpire mentoring, this was followed by excellent news with nine umpires gaining their National C Badge.
Netball NSW CEO Carolyn Campbell said the accreditations and greater number of divisions showed the benefits of hosting elite competitions in regional NSW.
“We are very proud of our Regional State League. Its success shows how vital it is for us to continue producing premier competitions in our regional areas to ensure there is a platform for players, coaches and umpires to continue to move through our development pathways.”
The Hunter semi-finals get underway at Newcastle Netball Association at 9am on Sunday followed by grand finals in each division at 11:20am.
It will be a close fight for the Division One title with only two competition points separating the four semi-finalists; Hastings Valley Opens, Wyong Opens, Scone & District Opens and Maitland Opens.
Charlestown U17 sits atop the Division Two ladder heading into the finals; they will take on Hastings Valley U17 while Newcastle U17 and Hastings Valley U19 will go head-to-head in the second semi-final.
In Division Three semi-finals, first-placed Woy Woy U17 plays fourth-placed Dungog U17 while the other semi-final between Scone & Districts U17 and Singleton U17 should go down to the wire after only one goal separated the teams the last time they met.
Division Four leader Gosford has had the better of their semi-final opponent Maitland U15 in the round-robin phase of the competition however after Newcastle U15 and Charlestown U15 traded wins in their most recent matches a grand final berth is well and truly up for grabs in the second semi-final.
Four U14 sides are set to contest the Division Five semi-finals; top-of-the-table Lakeside will play fourth-place Charlestown while in the second v third fixture although Newcastle has had the edge on Maitland in their matches thus far, Maitland came within a couple of goals of toppling ladder-leaders Lakeside recently and will be up to the challenge.
Other Regional State League winners will be decided this weekend in one blockbuster day of netball in GrainCorp Regional State League – Riverina at Junee Recreation Centre.
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