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13 April, 2023

Panthers’ league carnival celebrates with season-opener at McGrane Oval

Gilgandra Junior League, Tag and Netball

Hugely-successful season-opening junior league carnival was hosted last Saturday at McGrane Oval.

Following the unfortunate wash-out the previous week in Coonabarabran, the event was a massive day for the local club, with all hands on-deck to make it a success.

Teams from all group 14 clubs travelled to Gilgandra to compete in the carnival-style format, including from Walgett, Coonamble, Baradine, Coolah, Dunedoo, Gulgong, Coonabarabran, and of course, the Mighty Panthers. Games kicked off 9am sharp across all ovals and the final hooter didn’t sound until after 2pm.

It was great to see all ages competing right through from under sixes right up to U16s, along with various league tag grades. The day could not have run as smoothly as it did, without the help from everyone who lent a hand with the day also proving to be a valuable fundraiser for the club.

Gilgandra Panthers are warming-up to a big 2023 season with around 110 kids registered in junior league; a credit to not only the families and players; but the solid effort put in by the many volunteers and committee. This year, the “Tricolours” will be fielding sides in the group 14 competition from under sixes up to U14s, with likely two teams in a few grades.

The teams are already starting to get their eye in under the guidance of their coaches, and have no doubt, they’ll be strong competition. Round one proper, kicks-off after the school holidays with Gilgandra hosting Coonabarabaran at home.

The Panthers have always provided strong competition for the Unicorns and, will no doubt, be looking to do the same this year after finishing hot on their heels last year — particularly in U10s and U12s where last season the Panthers finished runners- up.

Netball, unfortunately, has suffered a severe decline in group 14 and, with the prospect of there not being a competition, this year, the committee made the tough decision to enter our netball teams in the Dubbo District Association competition playing as Gilgandra Panthers. This was not an easy call, but was a necessary one to ensure that our netballers have the opportunity to develop their skills and are able to play each week. It’s been great to see registrations coming in, with the netball competition also kicking-off after the holidays.

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