Blighty stalwarts reach milestone games

By Jamie Lowe

Two of Blighty Netball Club's stalwarts were celebrated on Saturday, with Penny Gallpen and Kristeen Culton both playing milestone games.

Gallpen reached her 400th game for the Redeyes when lining up for C reserve, while Culton's game in B grade saw her notch up her 300th club game, with both sides saluting the club greats with a win.

Gallpen has had a storied career at Blighty, joining the club in 1978 as part of the Under 11s.

After notching up 101 junior games, Gallpen joined the senior list, playing for the Redeyes' A grade side.

The shooter claimed the club's Best and Fairest A grade trophy in 1998 and 2005, as well as two in B grade in 2008 and 2009.

Her love for the club saw her serve as president of the Blighty Netball Club for three years as well as moving up to the league board as a Picola & District League secretary.

Gallpen's hard work was acknowledged by the club in 2015, when she was awarded Life Membership to the Blighty Netball Club.

Culton also began playing for the club in the junior ranks, first taking to the court in 1997.

Over her 23 years with the Redeyes she has missed only three seasons due to having children.

Throughout her career she has won all the awards possible claiming Best and Fairest, Runners-Up Best and Fairest, Most Determined, Most Consistent, Coach's Awards and the Deb Cochrane Award - which recognises players who play the game respecting both players and umpires.

Blighty Netball Club president Vicki Ackers said both netballers are outstanding role models.

"They have both been a true asset to our club," she said.

"Kristeen’s daughter Eliza is about to begin her netball playing, so we hope to them both within our club for many seasons to come."

Both players will get a taste of finals action this weekend with Blighty's C reserve travelling to Katamatite to take on Berrigan on Saturday and the B grade Redeyes playing at home against the Deni Rovers on Sunday.

Both games are elimination finals, with the winner moving on to the semi finals and the loser knocked out of the competition.