Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Benalla netballers excelling at regional level

Netballers from Benalla's different leagues are playing together in the Goulburn/North East Regional State League competition.

February 19, 2014 4:17am

Benalla Netball v Corowa Blue (11/2/14) at Benalla

Benalla Netball had a home ground advantage for some games in the Goulburn/North East Regional State League competition after being selected to host games at the Benalla Recreation Indoor Centre.

Benalla Netball has entered four teams in the competition, bringing together players from different teams and leagues across Benalla.

Two weeks into the competition the open women’s team is sitting on top of the ladder with wins over Wangaratta Magpies (39-37) and Corowa Blue (49-31).

Coach Robyn Smith is excited about the team’s performance and make-up of the teams.

‘‘The state league team brings together a range of quality players across the Benalla Netball region, it is a chance for these players who usually play in different teams to play together at an elite level,’’ Smith said.

‘‘While it is great to be winning the real positive is seeing the quality of players we have and watching them work and support each other, which is great for their development and young players watching.’’

The open women will play a number of home games at the Benalla Recreation Indoor Centre, with the 17/under girls playing all their games in Shepparton.

The open women’s side has a mix of Benalla Saints, All Blacks, Goorambat and a number of returning players such as Jo Toms (nee Willcock).

‘‘Benalla’s next home game will be on Tuesday, February 25 at 8.30pm,’’ Smith said.

‘‘It will be great to see a good crowd come along and support our local women and see some top class netball.’’

A curtain-raiser at 6pm will see the Benalla 15/under side taking on Wangaratta Magpies 16/under team. Entry is free.

The 17/under girls have started the league well with one win and one loss.

Up against some strong regional sides, the young Benalla team has stepped up to the challenge and is enjoying the opportunity to play at a higher level.

‘‘For most of these girls it is the first time they have played at this level and the experience they will take away from the competition is invaluable,’’ Benalla Netball Association president Kellie Keen said.

The league runs for six weeks with finals to be played at Shepparton. Benalla will hold two more home games prior to the finals.

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