Tweed's giant push to state netballing elite
FROM being cobbled together to reaching the heights of the state's elite, Tweed Netball Association's under-18s have had a golden run this season.
Tweed's very own David versus Goliath story played out at Coomera's new Commonwealth Games netball facility last weekend, where the Golden South Zone champions - made up of combined Tweed and Lismore players - took it up to the best in Netball Queensland's State Cup.
"We ended up third in the state on count back, it's a pretty good effort for a little team from Tweed Heads,” coach Mike Kiker said.
Rewind to earlier this year and the side wasn't sure whether it could field a team, let alone reach the top-tier of competition.
"We were struggling for numbers, but Nicole Cusack (South African coach) said there was a few girls at Lismore that might want to play, so we ended up with five from there,” Kiker said.
"They came together as a strong little group - five from Tweed and five from Lismore - and just really bonded in the pre-season.”
In the Stroud Homes Cup, Tweed made it to the finals, defeating the previously undefeated Southport by 13 in a semi-final, and again by three in the grand final in a tight finish to claim the zone championship.
Playing off against Toowoomba's zone champions, Tweed fired to win by 30, to make their way into the final-five against Cairns, Bundaberg, Caboolture and Brisbane's Downey Park.
"We won the first two against Cairns and Bundy on Saturday and were going fairly comfortably, but with two girls away, we were down to eight players against Caboolture so two under-16s came in,” Kiker said.
"They only lost by three, but they just had nothing left in the tank.”
On the Sunday, Tweed lost to Downey Park by eight to finish third, with their defensive pressure and spirit a feature which Kiker said had been a key for the side.
"We were good defensively, and that's the thing that got us through all season,” he said.
"They were great kids who came together well and the parent group was fantastic.”