Tamworth’s Mitch Salter and Giaan White were part of a golden double for NSW at the Australian Country Championships in Hobart.
Salter’s NSW Country Blues men’s side defeated the host state 11-9 to claim the national title, while White helped the Blues women beat Queensland White 15-10 to be crowned Australian Country champions.
Former Tamworth junior stars Emily Grellman and Laura Robinson also played for the Blues.
Robinson had a terrific tournament finishing the top goal scorer and being named in the All Star Seven for the tournament, along with Tamworth’s Libby Magann.
Magann played for the Waratahs side along with Katie Salter and former Tamworth representative Alice Grellman, while Reece Rowbottom and Patrick Hofman played for the Waratahs men, and former Tamworth player Henry Kelly the Australian Defence Force side.
The championships were co-hosted by ADF and Water Polo Tasmania, and on the women’s side saw seven teams vying for the honours – the two NSW sides, ADF, Queensland Maroon, Queensland White, Tasmania and Victoria.
The Blues asserted their dominance early on in the tournament, only conceding 10 goals in three games across the first two days of competition.
After going through the rounds undefeated, they took on ADF in the semi-final, storming into the final with a commanding 22-5 victory.
The Waratahs acquitted themselves well only going down by three or four goals.
A great win against the QLD Maroons ensured a spot in the fifth/sixth plat\y-off against Tasmania, where they were pipped 14-13.
Queensland only fielded one side in the men’s competition, leaving six to fight it out for the gold medal.
The NSW Blues came out firing against ADF cruising to a comfortable 18-5 win.
They continued their winning streak to go into the semi-finals undefeated, where they produced a very polished performance to thump Victoria 22-6.
The final was a much tighter affair with the Blues getting home by two.
The Waratahs held their own against strong competition from QLD and Tasmania, defeating ADF 11-9 in their classification match to finish fifth overall.
Tamworth was also well represented on the pool deck with Ross White managing the Waratahs men, Alice Grellman the Waratahs women and Gail Salter the Blues women.
Salter also refereed and was awarded the women’s bronze medal game.
The championships doubled as a selection for the Australian Country teams to defend their titles at the 2017 Princess Chulaborn Cup.