Monto claim honours in Challenge for the ages
MONTO Netball Association teams have claimed honours in three out of four competitive divisions after the fourth and final round of the Central Burnett Challenge was held in Monto on Saturday.
It is the last challenge before the introduction of an under 16s division and the introduction of male players into the higher divisions.
In the under 15s, Monto Fever pipped Mundubbera Strikers by a single point, 44 to 43, after claiming 12 points in the final round, against the Strikers' 10 points.
Gayndah Golden Allstars weren't far behind, on 39 points, while the Mundubbera Tigers earned 21 points through four rounds.
Monto's Tarah Staines and Gayndah's Jess Cooper tied for the division's Most Valuable Player.
In the under 12s, there was a bit more clear air between first and second, with Monto Pretty Snazzy romping home undefeated throughout the four-leg challenge on 46 points, followed by Mundubbera Phoenixes.
The MVP award went to a Nanango player.
In the under 10As, Mundubbera Top Cats claimed the top going on 39 points, followed by Monto Emojis on 36.
In the under 10Bs, Monto Blue Lightning on 32 beat their club rivals Monto Pink Lightning on 23.
"It was really the year for Monto and Mundubbera in 2019, but these results didn't reflect on the fierce competition showed throughout all four carnivals,” Monto netball secretary Tara Harm said.
She was proud that five out of six Monto teams either won or placed second.
"These results are a credit to our players and coaches, our kids love to play netball and the dedication our coaches show each week pushes their players to improve both individually and as a team,” Mrs Harm said.
"The progress we see from the beginning to end of each season is always amazing to witness.
"We are a lucky club to have such keen volunteers in our community to take on these tough and time consuming roles in our association.
"Recognition must also go to our parents for their continuous support and commitment to both training sessions and travelling to carnivals.”
Mrs Harm said she is looking forward to the "challenges” of next season.
Gayndah netball secretary Chris Duncan said all teams enjoyed the structure of the competition, where points, both for teams and Most Valuable Player, are accumulated over four legs.
"When it comes to the last game, if there is a tie this is acknowledged - there is no count back or play off,” she said.
"The hard work put into four carnivals is recognised.”
Ms Duncan said her personal highlight of the day came during the last match, between Monto Blue Lightning and Monto Pink Lightning in the under 10B division.
"All the other teams formed a guard of honour for the two teams to run onto the court ,” she said.
"It was an amazing sight - certainly demonstrated the sporting spirit of the day.”
Mundubbera netball secretary Lisa Whelan said the challenge is a "great resource” for Central and North Burnett clubs.
"It is great to see so many parents and players filling in the survey to help us put in place improvements to the competition in 2020,” Ms Whelan said.
Mundubbera netball will now play an intra-club competition to finish off its season.