On the road for Mount Franklin Challenge Final

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When it comes to taking the long road to a final, it’s hard to top the netball team from Toowoomba competing in tomorrow night’s Mount Franklin Challenge season decider.

Every Friday for the past 17 weeks, the 12-member team and its support crew spend up to five hours travelling to and from Brisbane to take the court.

But according to coach Marion Head, the travel, late nights and dedication has paid off with Toowoomba steering straight into the 19 years Div 2 grand final and will play Underwood Park for the title.

“This is the first time I’ve coached a Mount Franklin team and I am really proud of them,” Head said.

“Some of our players are students, so we have to leave as soon as school is out and that means those who work have to get off early,” she explained.

“When we play the later games in Brisbane we are not getting home until 1.30am or 2 in the morning and then most have to back up and play the next day for their clubs,” she said.

“The commitment by these players has been outstanding.”

Especially by the team’s youngest, 15 year old shooter Sarah Ogden, who not only does the trek to Brisbane with her teammates, but travels an extra two hours each week to train with them.

“Sarah lives in Warwick and it is an hour each way to Toowoomba,” Head said.

“She is our speedy, agile goal shooter and comes in every Monday night to train with the team. She is wonderfully committed,” she said.

A teacher in Toowoomba, Head coached the 15 years Queensland Schoolgirls team to a bronze medal at the nationals earlier this year and is about to land on the podium again tomorrow night, win or lose.

“We don’t talk about the ‘W’ word we talk about playing well and being committed to our game plan, and if the win is the result that’s the bonus,” she said.

Toowoomba will be without its starting wing defence (WD) with schoolgirl boarder Courtney Abel returning home to PNG yesterday to compete for her national team, but Head claims like it has been all year, it’s been about the journey.

“It’s been a great season. We’re doing okay and I’m very happy with the way we are going,” she said.

“We will celebrate no matter what back in Toowoomba.”

 

Mount Franklin Challenge Grand Finals Draw – Friday 19th September 2014

Grade Time Home Team v Away Team Venue
2014 MFC – 16s Division 1 6:30pm South Coast v Downey Park SNC > Crt 2
2014 MFC – 19s Division 1 6:30pm Downey Park v Southport Carrara SNC > Crt 3
2014 MFC – Opens Division 1 6:30pm Macgregor v Ipswich SNC > Crt 4
2014 MFC – 16s Division 2 8:15pm Brisbane v Southport Carrara SNC > Crt 2
2014 MFC – 19s Division 2 8:15pm Toowoomba v Underwood Park SNC > Crt 3
2014 MFC – Opens Division 2 8:15pm Shailer Park v South Brisbane Strikers SNC > Crt 4