Top netball talent shines at the State Age Championships

Safe hands:  Aisha Muhammad takes possession for the Illawarra 14 Years team against Wagga Wagga in their Championship Division match at the State Age Championships. Picture: Orlando Chiodo

Safe hands: Aisha Muhammad takes possession for the Illawarra 14 Years team against Wagga Wagga in their Championship Division match at the State Age Championships. Picture: Orlando Chiodo

The Kiama Division 3 team are 15 Years champions and four Illawarra teams performed admirably at netball's biggest junior carnival, the  State Age Championships.

The three-day titles earlier this month featured more than 300 teams from 83 associations across NSW, with a host of regional associations taking part including Kiama, and also Illawarra – who competed in the elite Championship Division in 12 Years, 13 Years, 14 Years and 15 Years.

The Kiama Association played in Division 3 and 4 at Campbelltown, with the 15 Years Division 3 team scoring the most goals and conceding the second least to be commanding winners of the Div 3 State Age Championship.

The 15 Years team has been managed by Sara Hall for all four years and could not have finished their State Age journey on a  better note.

The winning Kiama Div 3 squad was: Savannah Armstrong, Isabelle Crowe, Phoebe Edis, Tayla Hall, (vice-captain), Lauren Humphries, Paris Mason, Carla Meley, (captain), Ava Riddell, Sienna Thomson, Alexandra Wallace. Coach: Emily Robinson. Manager: Sara Hall.

The Kiama 12 Years team were 10th in Div 4; the 13s were sixth in Div 4 and the 14s were 13th in Div 3.

The four Division 1 Illawarra teams also performed well against some of the top netballers in NSW in chilly conditions at Penrith.

The 12’s finished sixth (12 wins, 5 losses, 2 draws) with coach Elizabeth Osborne very impressed and vowing the team will be even stronger in 2018.

The Illawarra 13th were 10th (11 wins, nine losses) and defeated two of the top four teams, and four of the top 10. The team’s focus was teamwork on and off court,  and they made their coaching staff proud with their team spirit and work ethic.

The 14’s were in fifth spot after an outstanding Saturday and Sunday but some tough games on the Monday left them to finish tenth, to match their placing from 2017.

 Coach Peiti Haines, with support from  manageress Nicole Scott and assistant coach Karina Williams guided the team to 9 wins, 9 losses and a draw.

The 15’s had a tough start to their 2017 campaign with young gun midcourter Cartier Taranto injuring her ACL earlier in the season.

The girls tried very hard to regroup and coach Catherine Jones was very proud of their efforts.

She said the girls were fantastic young ambassadors for Illawarra Netball at State Age and were extremely determined in every match and never gave up.

Jones said the coaching staff couldn’t have been more proud of the team who  finished 16th with a record of five wins, 13 losses and a draw.

The State Age Championships were first held in 1968 and have grown into one of the largest junior female sporting events in Australia each year.

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