KEEP ON KEEPING ON: Lilly Porch has been a stand-out for Robin Hood Craig Harvey Mechanical so far this season. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER 0403MFnetball3


ROBIN Hood Craig Harvey Mechanical remain winless through the opening three rounds of Orange Netball Association’s Toyota Cup competition and they’ve faced a steep learning curve so far in their first year of division one.

But they’ve had to play Vipers, KWS 1sts and Royal Hawks so far – all expected to be contenders – and crucially, for the most part, they’ve kept up with them.

In suffering 41-20, 40-32 and 56-40 losses, respectively, the young Craig Harvey Mechanical side has pushed their far more experienced counterparts, with youthful enthusiasm proving to be their best asset.

Club coach Cindy Gilchrist said if they can turn that into execution, there’s no reason they can’t be a force through the middle and back parts of the 2016 winter.

“They’ve just been so amazing so far,” she said.

“They’re young and they’re inexperienced, but we’ve seen that so far in each game. The other sides’ experience has shown and that’s why the scores have [blown out] a bit.

“But they’re getting better every week, emotionally, mentally and physically. Everyone at the club, including the other division one side, has been involved in their development into a division one team and we’re all very proud of what they’re doing, and excited to see what they’re capable of.”

Doing so in round four in Saturday will be far easier said than done though, considering they’re playing clubmates and reigning eight-time champions Robin Hood.

“All these girls train together so it might be tough for them to stay in the game mentally,” Gilchrist said.

“What the Craig Harvey Mechanical side will be focusing on is staying with Robin Hood and producing a good performance. That’s the focus most weeks, playing well before anything else.

“A win isn’t everything for this side (in the big scheme of things), it can be hard to accept that as a player but … the results will come.”

While the entire side has been strong all year, Gilchrist said she’ll be looking for big performances from Maddie Cole, Katie Harvey and Jodie Annis-Brown in particular on Saturday.

The Robin Hood derby kicks off at 3.50pm at Sir Neville Howse Stadium, finishing off a huge day of netball which includes the other Toyota Cup games where Vipers clash with Life Studio (1.10pm), OHS High A play KWS (2.30pm) and Life Studio Mid West Eyes take on Royal Hawks (2.30pm).

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