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Geraldton Guardian Local Achievers sports award recognises ‘hard to ignore’ performances in Mid West

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian

Whether you’re a powerhouse netball team from the bush or an unbeaten footy side that’s been pipped to the award post, the Geraldton Guardian Local Achievers Award at the Mid West Sports Awards has gone to some sportspeople who might have gone unrecognised elsewhere.

The Mid West Sports Federation’s Adam Murszewski said the award was open to entries from all categories.

“Sometimes it’s hard to compare apples with butterflies, if you’re comparing teams in State leagues with teams that have won seven Great Northern Football League finals,” Mr Murszewski said.

He said all the awards were about achievement, but the Local Achievers gong could go to somebody that missed out elsewhere but was “hard to ignore”.

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Towns league coach Dale Baynes, who played in 2009’s title-winning season, said winning the achievers award that year marked the crest of a golden period for the club. “That was probably the end of our real dynasty,” Baynes said.

Dale Baynes in the stands at Towns Oval.
Camera IconDale Baynes in the stands at Towns Oval. Credit: Geraldton Guardian/Geraldton Guardian

“We’d won four (premierships) in a row. There was a bit of a changing of the guard, so to speak.

He said 2006 was probably the best season for the club in that period as they went undefeated to the flag. But they were beaten to the Mid West Sports Team of the Year prize that year by the achievements of the Mid West regional under-13s netball side.

Sulwyn Mutter, who coached Three Springs Netball Club in their award-winning 2019 season, said the club had no idea they would be declared local achievers despite a run of premierships.

“We didn’t expect to ever win anything, going up against who we were that year,” Mutter said.

“It was a surprise, really. We just went up (to the awards in Geraldton) to have a look.

“We just work hard and everybody’s on the same page, usually.

“We try and get a good atmosphere at the club.”

They were up against the Geraldton Buccaneers, who had won the State Basketball League title and took out the Sports Team of the Year award.

But while the Buccs won the team award, Three Springs, who had won an A-grade flag in 2011 and then a streak of them between ‘13 and ‘19, prevailed in the local category. Mutter said there were about 10 players from the 2019 A- and B-grade squads still playing.

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