The Dorrigo Blackbutts are into the grand final of the Women’s Over 30s competition – and a more remarkable journey is unlikely.
This talented team are the North Coast’s version of the all-star globetrotters.
They a composite outfit, with six players from Dorrigo and the rest from Bellingen, Urunga and Coffs Harbour.
Team member Kristy Thornhill spoke of the challenges of drawing players from all quarters.
“As a whole side, we’ve never had a training session,” Kristy said.
Instead, the girls hone their skills in geographical clusters.
“We (the mountain component) train by ourselves down at the Rec at Dorrigo,” Kristy said.
“On game day we do manage to all get together half-an-hour before for a warm-up.”
All of the Blackbutts’ matches this season have been played at Coffs – just to add to the challenge for those travelling from the hinterland.
Not that it’s mattered – as Dorrigo overcame all of these hurdles to finish third on the ladder, before springing a 2-1 win over Corindi in the semi-final.
“It was definitely pleasing to get that result and it’s exciting to be playing a grand final on Friday night,” Kristy said.
In the decider, though, the North Coast globetrotters will find a tougher foe than the laydown Washington Generals.
The table topping Boambee Eagles lay in wait – though the season has already been a successful one for the Blackbutts on so many levels.
Kristy’s personal experience is symbolic of her team’s incredible road in 2020.
“It’s been an amazing season and it’s been my first time back playing in 17 years since my daughter was born,” she said.