The next generation of the South West’s finest netballers took centre stage against the best of the best throughout the State in a recent tournament. A selection of the region’s top players from Bunbury to Manjimup competed in the Netball WA State Cup, finding themselves up against other regional teams as well as teams from the Perth metropolitan area between October 8 and 10. After a two-day hub stacked with training sessions and try-outs earlier in the year, players from across the region were selected to represent in three age groups — 18 & under, 16 & under and 14 & under. Bunbury was the most represented of the South West teams, with nine players across the three teams, followed closely by Leschenault and Bridgetown. Busselton’s four players all made the 14 & under team, Eaton had representatives in the 18 & under and 14 & under teams, Manjimup had two players and Collie had one representative in the 16 & under team. In the midst of tough competition, the South West 18 & under team missed out on a spot in the finals after finishing sixth on the ladder with a 1-5 record. The team’s sole win was a 28-17 victory over the North West Netball Region, comprising players from the Pilbara and Kimberley. The 16 & under team fared well in their division, blitzing their way through pool A to take top spot on the ladder with a 4-1 record, including a 62-11 smashing over Wheatbelt Goldfields and a 40-8 victory over the North West. However, their run of wins came to an end when they fell short to Wanneroo & Districts 44-30 in the final. The 14 & under team also achieved success, finishing second on the pool A ladder with a 4-1 record, including wins over Wanneroo & Districts, Peel, Fremantle and Midwest Gascoyne. The young squad finished their tournament on a high note after defeating Kalamunda & Districts in a 29-27 thriller during the finals. A small team of South West umpires also got the chance to continue honing their skills during the tournament, with Bunbury-based umpire Tanika Dunlop achieving her National B badge. The Netball WA State Cup enables players, coaches and umpires across the State to compete against each other and also acts as a selection point for them to progress to the next level of programs and pathways.