The final score was forgotten soon after the game, but the chance for Maitland's under-17 representative netball team to finally compete together as a team last week will be a long-cherished memory.
The game against a combined A1 NVY Comets and A3 Power Comets team came after NSW Netball announced the permanent cancellation of the 2020 state championships, which had been postponed from June to October.
Maitland's 17s had been training together since February and looked like putting all the hard yards in without a chance to show how much they had learned and progressed.
"The first trials were at the end of last year. Originally we were supposed to play over the June long weekend and that got postponed to the October long weekend.. Then unfortunately, NSW Netball made the call last week to cancel it altogether," Maitland coach Kellyann Huggins said.
"It's been a big commitment from them. The girls trained once a week, starting at 5pm with an hour of fitness and then 90 minutes of court work."
In stepped the Comets.
A former Australian junior netball representative Huggins said it had been a tough year but the girls had taken everything in their stride.
"On Tuesday night they were just outstanding across the board," the proud coach said of her of her team. "It was nice to get a hit out in the end because they've worked so hard."
"It (the state titles) was on, then it was off, then it's been on and finally cancelled. The girls really took it in their stride.
"You could see every week that they were developing and getting better. It's very rare that you get a team of 10 that can play multiple positions and you put changes in and it doesn't affect the flow of anything.
"They've been an absolute joy, made my life so easy.
Huggins, whose sister Karlee was joint coach and mum Karen manager, said the weekly training session had been a great outlet for everyone involved.
"Everyone was a joy to be around, the girls got on just outstandingly. They are all really good friends and it was good to meet up each Tuesday, play a bit of netball and check in with everyone.
"They've had such huge changes in their lives with school, one day they are at school, the next they are online and then they're back.
"This year everything has been flipped on its head and they all took it in their stride.
"No complaints, they all got on with it and I think it was just a great outlet for them."
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