IN 2020 and 2021 the Bathurst Netball Association's under 12s, 13s and 14s teams missed out on a chance to travel to the Netball NSW Junior State Titles due to COVID-19, so excitement was high for the weekend's latest instalment.
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This time a new enemy reared its ugly head - rain.
The three Bathurst sides managed to play six of their matches in their respectively division two competitions at Penrith before the torrential rain cancelled the tournament on day two.
It means that not a single member of the Bathurst under 14s team has ever been able to take part in a completed Junior State Titles campaign for three years running, robbing them of one of the most valuable development opportunities they get each season.
Bathurst Netball Association president Tina Muller said it's a tough blow for all teams involved to see another year go by with an incomplete competition.
"None of our teams -12s, 13s, or 14s - have been able to experience a Junior State Titles. It's really sad for them and disappointing but what can you do? The conditions got pretty dangerous down there," she said.
"There was a lot of water lying around. Our girls were pretty fortunate because they were staying somewhere safe but I know that other associations down there had to be evacuated in the middle of the night.
"We were lucky to be in a place where we could get out easily, and we were able to get our stuff out of the tents on Sunday."
Plans and new draws were put together when rain brought the competition to a standstill, with organisers hoping to get some form of tournament completed, but it was soon evident that wasn't going to happen.
"Netball NSW didn't make the call to cancel everything until later this morning," Muller said on Monday.
"They had re-done all the draws, splitting everyone into two pools, so hats off the Netball NSW because there would have been some big decisions made and a lot of work being done in a short space of time but unfortunately nothing was able to happen."
Each Bathurst team managed to play six games but in a tough start to their competitions none of the sides could come away with a victory.
Day two shaped up as the perfect opportunity for the Bathurst squads to turn their fortunes around, with an easier schedule ahead of them, but the rain put that to an end.
"They all had a lot of tough teams on that first day and on day two it looked like they were going to get an easier run," Muller said.
"They did unfortunately get some hard teams on the first day but there's unfortunately not much we can do about the weather."
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