Lismore sets goal
THERE is a joke among the members of the Lismore Open netball team as they look to create history at the State Championships starting this Saturday at Baulkham Hills.
The girls giggle at the motto “we’re a small but tough team” – but make no mistake, Lismore will be one of the teams to watch at the three-day tournament.
While Lismore do not have the resources of the big Sydney teams that will contest the tournament, the girls are confident they can take out the Country Champions title for the first time.
Lismore won the Division Two crown at the titles in 2010 and this year will compete against some formidable opponents at Division One level.
“We’ll take on some taller and stronger girls from Sydney who train more than us so it’s a little scary but we’re looking forward to taking them on,” Lismore vice-captain and goal attack/shooter Zoe Dundas said.
“We want to take out the Country Cup and Coffs Harbour will be a big rival for us here.
“There’s a good rivalry between both teams.”
Lismore team has youth on their side – the oldest player is 24 while Dundas is just 19.
“We joke around about being a small but tough team,” said Dundas, who plays with Rous Pink in the local competition.
“We’re young but we have a lot of enthusiasm and our young players bring fresh ideas.
“We’re very tight-knit too, even with the Grafton players in the side because we’ve played at rep level for a number of years.”
The team is young but it does not lack star power.
Centre Cheryl Renagi played for PNG at the Commonwealth Games in India last year.
Lismore captain Tamara Hamshaw, 22, from the Daleys club is an inspiration in defence.
Hamshaw, who stands 1.93 metres (6’4” in the old language), will contest her 10th State Championships.
“Tamara has great ball skills, takes control of a game so well and gets the ball when she wants it,” Dundas said.
“And little Cheryl, she’s just a pocket rocket and feeds her attackers so well.”
As added inspiration for Renagi, Lismore will take on PNG in their first game of the tournament.
Lismore beat this team 25-15 last year.
Lismore will compete against 35 other teams in a gruelling tournament schedule which will involve them playing 22 games over three days. Games will comprise two halves of 14 minutes each.
Lismore will also send an under-17 team to Baulkham Hills.
The under-17 outfit finished runners-up in Division Two last year and will contest the same division this weekend.
The make-up of the under-17 team has changed dramatically with only two girls from last year’s team to line up this year but confidence is high amongst this team that they can do well.