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25 June, 2022

Big day out at McGrane for Gilgandra juniors

Gilgandra Junior League and Netball - June 21

By Supplied

It was a fun and colourful scene at McGrane on Saturday as the junior panthers took on the Coonamble Bears and Baradine Magpies while doing a spot of fundraising in support of The Kids Cancer Project. There were colourful socks and crazy hairstyles as the kids went about their business, and was great to see all clubs getting behind such a wonderful cause raising $110.

The juniors have a run of home games now as we head into the back end of the season, and it was always going to be a busy day with so many games to get through for both netball and football. It was all hands on deck and as the schedule ran into the mid-afternoon, it has to be said the football referees looked more worn out than the kids.

This week referees were running games right through without a break. Bradley Gibson, Richard Howard and new recruit Bill Welsh sure earnt some time on the lounge on Sunday, the day couldn’t have happened without them or the two other volunteer referees from the travelling clubs.

With another home game coming up this weekend, they’ll be looking forward to the school holiday break probably more than the kids. The canteen and coffee cart were also hot destinations, keeping everyone on their toes to feed and water the big crowd which was no easy challenge, rumour being the canteen was cleaned out of all supplies.

But on to the actual sports report!

The sun was a welcomed sight after what has been a solid run of grey, cold days and made for perfect playing conditions, no jumpers or leggings in sight. The netballers took on both Coonamble and Baradine teams and was great to see the girls get into the spirit of the day and have fun. It took a bit for the fingers to warm up for the first game but it didn’t take long as the sun peaked over the trees.

The under six and eights both started the day with some Net Set Go drills while the under 10s and 12s got straight into games. Both the 12 teams went down but the under 10 sides came away with a win. There were some solid, well contested football match-ups including the under 14s who went toe to toe with the Bears, and in the end it was only a conversion that made the difference.

After a week off the panthers were well rested and ready to settle in for a great battle. The boys showed much improvement in their defence and were rewarded with good field position which they capitalised on in attack. Jack Louie scored a hat trick while Brock McKenzie and panther of the week Sam Dunn both crossed the line for a try each. It looked as though the boys had the game in the bag until Coonamble crossed the white line late in the second half.

After icing all their conversions Coonamble came out on top 30-28. It was a strong effort for the team, well done panthers and hope to see you all at training in preparation for the next match. Under 12 white certainly heard the call to put on a home ground show, fielding a full team who all turned up ready to fire and notching up two wins in some dominant fashion.

The first game against the Bears was 32-18 and the second against the Magpies was a very solid 42-4 win. The boys continue to put on an impressive number of tries with Jack Gibson, Jahkaia Hughes, Mason Peters, Sailor Ryan, and Ben Mudford all crossing. Under 12 brown weren’t to be outdone, also enjoying two wins in very similar style.

The scoreline was well and truly in their favour, being 32-10 against Coonamble and racking up an eye watering 50-10 win against Baradine. Without reproducing the full team list, tries were shared across many of the players but a notable mention to Ezekial (Peck) Williams, scoring seven for the day.

Under 10 matchups were a more even contest and pretty sure panthers coach Ash Hazelton had a well-worn track along the sideline watching over all four games. In a repeat of the trip to the bears cave a few weeks back, Brown again had a draw with Baradine, 16-all. Both teams tried their heart out with the players putting all their energy into it and the scoreline was a fitting result.

The Brown team held on for an impressive 24-16 win against a strong Coonamble outfit. The team showed great heart with some great tries on the day from Matari Towney, Kyhran O’Neil, Mitch Cosier and Dallas Burrell. Under 10 white got up with a great win against the Magpies, coming away on top 28-24, however the win must have taken a bit out of the team as they went down 24-12 to Coonamble in their second match. A great team effort and some solid runs to find the try line, with Ryder Larkin, Jagger Hazelton, Slater Peters and Mack Hutchison all adding to the tally.

Under eights had some great fun under the watchful eye of Bill who re-joined the referee ranks very recently thanks to some encouragement and pleading from the committee. There were some strong runs, hard tackles and great tries for all teams and no doubt some tired kids afterwards. In a mystery combination of panthers, magpies and bears, the under sixes all joined forces to form sides having a great time tackling and running the ball. Five stars to the Baradine and Coonamble sides and their amazing players for not only travelling to panther country but also showing great sportsmanship on the field.

The panthers will be put to the test as the Coonabarabran Unicorns travel to McGrane this weekend.

The Unicorns are always tough competitors and had the Panthers measure when they played early on in the season, but with the Panthers ramping up their form it will be interesting to see how the teams match-up come Saturday. •••

Panthers of the Week


Under six/eight white: Molly Adams

Under six/eight brown: Charlie Hazelton

Under 10 white: Estelle Hazelton

Under 10 brown: Jessie O’Connor

Under 12 white: Cardi Howard

Under 12 brown: Kennedi Hazelton


Under six: Oli Newton

Under eight white: Tiaki Diamond

Under eight bown: Tariq Brown

Under 10 white: Clancy Larkin

Under 10 brown: Dallas Burrell

Under 12 white: Caine Bugmy and Sailor Ryan

Under 12 brown: Jordan Hazelton

Under 14: Sam Dunn

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