Dubbo Netball Association set for first grand final day without stalwarts Nita McGrath and Alison Cullen

PROUD: DNA president Karen Weekes has been delighted by the success in season 2017. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

PROUD: DNA president Karen Weekes has been delighted by the success in season 2017. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

It’s been described as a “year of firsts” for Dubbo Netball Association.

That is largely down to the fact the 2017 season has been the first one without local netball stalwarts Nita McGrath and Alison Cullen.

McGrath was described by many as the patriarch of Dubbo netball while Cullen was a life member of the Dubbo Netball Association (DNA) and both had given decades of service to the sport before passing away within a few months of each other before the season began.

“It will be bittersweet on Saturday without them,” DNA president Karen Weekes said.

“But people like Kylie McKeown have stepped up and given everything to see the competition run and run so well.

This has been my first year as president and I’ve had so much support. - Karen Weekes

“This has been my first year as president and I’ve had so much support to make the games run smoothly week in, week out.”

Weekes will play for Fusions Fire in Saturday’s Rawson Homes Premiership A Grade grand final, one of 13 deciders to be played out at the Nita McGrath courts.

While two Fusions side will meet in the day’s main game there is a strong mix of clubs set to take part across all the divisions.

“As president I couldn’t be happier with how many clubs will be represented,” Weekes said.

“It really shows the depth of talent across the clubs and it’s really great for growth in the future.”

Weekes added netball in Dubbo had defied trends but attracting more and more new players every year, stating that is not only good for the standard of the sport locally but also a benefit to the community as more people were out being active.

“It’s good for physical and mental health,” Weekes said.

Grand final matches will be played in three timeslots at the Nita McGrath on Saturday – 10.45am, 1.15pm and 2.45pm.

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