Vawdon Cup Grand Final Day 2023 saw 4 Hills Hornets teams competing to be champions for their divisions.
Two teams were successful, with the Hornets Girls Youth Team emerging victorious in a thrilling match against the Penrith Panthers, while the “All Abilities” team shared the spotlight as equal champions with the North Sydney Bears.
The Girls Youth Team’s Triumph:
In a nail-biting showdown, the Hills Hornets Girls Youth Team claimed the title in the NSW Vawdon Cup by defeating the Penrith Panthers with a score of 6-5, scoring the try on the bell. It capped off a fantastic season for the Kirsty and Manu Wakely coached team, going through the season undefeated.
Special mention goes to Davina Raghvani who backed up for the Youth Girls Grand Final after playing a full game in the Mixed Open Grand Final earlier the same day.
All Abilities Team: Sharing the Glory:
The Hills Hornets “All Abilities” team demonstrated their exceptional skills and sportsmanship, emerging as equal champions alongside the North Sydney Bears. Coached and managed by Greg Brown, and with a number of players with Grand Final experience, the All Abilities team always fly the Hornets flag high.
Heartbreaking Loss for Open Mixed
Before the Open Mixed Grand Final, the Hills Hornets had not lost a game this season. However, 2 season ending injuries to Hayley and Molly Bird, meant the team was going into this contest with no female subs. Despite this, the team put in an exceptional performance before going down narrowly to the North Sydney Bears 7-6.
Boys Youth Valiant in Defeat
In a rematch of their epic semi-final where the game went into extra time drop off, the Boys Youth team came up against Orange Thunder. Th Hornets boys fought hard against their more experienced opponents, before falling short with a final score of 9-6. It was a stellar season for the Mark Jones and Matt Lawson coached team, having only lost 1 game in the regular season.
Club Championship Success
The Hills Hornets placed second in the club championship, narrowly behind the Penrith Panthers. The success at Vawdon Cup follows on from being crowned Southern Conference Champions in the 2023 Junior State Cup. The overall performance across multiple divisions demonstrates the continued growth of Hills Hornets and a testament to the club’s commitment to excellence.