Rikki Lane-Lamb is one of three Dubbo players named in the Western side for Saturday. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVANLADIES League Tag is being contested for the first time at the Country Championships this year and one player will savour the occasion more than most this weekend.
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Bathurst Panthers player Monique Christie-Johnston felt like she was in the mix to make the Western Rams side after the trials in Gilgandra recently but wasn’t surprised when she missed out on the initial squad.

By her estimation, most of the players in her area of the field – the middle – held their own at the cluster, but on Monday night coach Mick Armstrong gave her an important phone call ahead of the first round this weekend.

She will now join a Rams squad which features Dubbo Westside star Tarlee Roberts and CYMS duo Chrystal Thompson and Rikka Lane-Lamb.

“I was actually only called up this week, Shay Naden from Gilgandra withdrew from the side so I was the lucky one who took her place,” said Christie-Johnston, a title-winning captain in Group 10 with Panthers.

“It was pretty tough competition over there at the trials, I was playing in the forwards and it was a position where basically everyone in the four teams there did their job so it was hard to stand out.

The Rams will face Southern on Saturday at Kirkham Oval in Elderslie, and though this might be the first chance any players have been given to play for a Country Championship in league tag, the Rams players aren’t going in totally blind.

“I think Kiama are part of the Southern area, and I know that they have won the premier’s competition for the last two years that all the Group winners go to. We [Panthers] competed there two seasons ago and St Pat’s did last season,” Christie-Johnston explained.

“On that basis I would think they are going to be pretty strong.

“I think to take out the whole tournament in its first edition would be incredible but I’m just hoping that we can get a win to start with in that first game and then maybe re-adjust our sights a bit.”

WESTERN RAMS: 1 Heidi Reagan (Manildra), 2 Tarlee Roberts (Dubbo Westside), 3 Olivia Bird (Blayney), 4 Sophie Stammers (Blayney), 5 Claire Woolmington (Bathurst Panthers), 6 Mish Somers (Bathurst St Pat’s), 7 Matilda Power (Bathurst Panthers), 8 Chrystal Thompson (Dubbo CYMS), 9 Ella J Harris (Parkes), 10 Mikala Mongan (Eugowra), 11 Sally Dwyer (Parkes), 12 Karah Armstrong (Bathurst St Pat’s), 13 Rikka Lane-Lamb (Dubbo CYMS), 14 Tori Canham (Coonamble), 15 Monique Christie-Johnson (Bathurst Panthers)

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.