The June long weekend saw the Priceline Pharmacy Netball Country Championships being held in Adelaide, hosting more than 90 teams from 26 regional associations.
Port Pirie had three teams compete at this year’s championships, taking a 17-and-under, 15-and-under and 13-and-under team.
This allowed players to showcase their talent and skills alongside the best athletes from the other regions.
The 13-and-unders saw numerous players getting their first opportunity to represent their town at an elite level.
The team won one game on the opening day, defeating Kangaroo Island by 22 goals.
This put the team into the division two pool for day two.
The second day saw the team without a win until the last game which was a must win if they wanted to play in the quarter finals the next morning.
A win was exactly what happened, defeating Southern Hills in a close and exciting encounter by two goals.
The third day saw the team come up against the Hills Netball Association and in another close encounter went down by five goals to the team who eventually went on to win the division two championships.
Even though they only won two games, it must not go unnoticed the determination displayed by this team, losing several games by the littlest of margins. Throughout the weekend you were able to see the improvement of these players as they adjusted to the intensity of the games. They must be commended for their never-give-up attitude.
The 15-and-unders saw a team of bottom ages except for two players take to the court, all having previous experience at the top level.
Day one saw the team win three out of their five games, defeating Far West Netball Association by 19 goals, Mid South East Netball Association by four goals and the Southern Hills Netball Association by two goals, putting the team in to the division two pool for the second day.
Day two saw the team win their second game against River Murray Netball Association by eight goals and then won a thrilling game against Great Flinders Netball Association by two goals, winning a total of two out of their four games for the day.
It must also be mentioned that the girls went down to Kangaroo Island Netball Association by five goals on this day and this association went on to win the division two championships.
The third day saw the girls come up against the Adelaide Plains Netball Association in their quarter final, going down by 13 goals.
These girls should be very proud at their achievements throughout the carnival, being such a young team and proving they could match it to the very best.
The 17-and-unders were a highlight for the Port Pirie Netball Association after not being able to fill a side for the championships in 2016.
Day one saw the 17’s win three out of their five games, defeating the Far West Netball Association by 16 goals, Yorke Peninsula Netball Association by 13 goals and the River Murray Netball Association by 18 goals.
These wins set the team up for a hard draw on the second day, finishing in division one. Day two saw the girls win one out of their five games, defeating Mid South East Netball Association by four goals.
The games that were lost on this day were by the narrowest of margins which scraped the team in the quarter finals for the third and final day.
The families of the players must also be thanked for taking the time to follow their children and teams, showing great support throughout the whole process of the championships.
The team come up against The Riverland Netball Association in the quarter final and were beaten by 14 goals.
The association who went on to win the championships in this grade was the Western Border Netball Association who the girls lost to by two goals on the second day.
For several of the girls from this grade it was to be their last ever championships and what a way to end it all, playing in a quarter final in the top division, against the best of the best!
The three teams should be applauded for their great efforts over the entire weekend and for their sportsmanship shown throughout the championships.
A big thank you must go to the coaches for all their time and dedication throughout the championships and the lead up to it.
The families of the players must also be thanked for taking the time to follow their children and teams, showing great support throughout the whole process of the titles.