Grading is done and dusted and the Central Otago Netball competition starts in earnest this Saturday.
Dunstan B showed it deserved to be included in A grade when it drew with Cromwell College A 16-16, and beat a much more competitive Envy 23-14.
These girls will certainly push the other teams in the top grade.
Unfortunately, the return to A grade for Ex-Girls has been made difficult by a knee injury to shooter Kim Whipp.
The team will certainly be hoping this is not too serious and that Kim will be back on court very soon – she certainly is an important member of the Ex-Girls attack.
Six teams make up the A Grade.
The teams will initially play a round robin, followed by semis and final.
They will then go into a competition round in two sets of four, having picked up the top two teams from B grade.
The teams in A grade are Dunstan A, Molyneux A, Cromwell College A, Roxburgh Area A, Ex-Girls A and Dunstan B.
the B grade very closely.
There are four Dunstan High School (DHS) teams – senior reserve, 11A, 10A and 9A – which will come up against the experience of Envy, Roxburgh, the Alexandra Anaheras and Earnscleugh Emeralds.
These teams all had mixed results last weekend, but at this stage of the season Envy, the Alexandra Anaheras and Earnscleugh Emeralds look to be playing very well, but the school teams will be working hard to improve and who knows what the result might be by the end of the season?
The C and D grades are made up of school teams.
We will keep an eye on these teams throughout the season.
The Molyneux v DHS A game was very tight and it wasn’t until the final whistle that Molyneux managed to take a win by one.
The Dunstan girls managed to keep up competitively with Molyneux, despite having a new line-up and few warm-up games going into the grading.
Molyneux is looking very strong with Megan Morrison in the WA position and have a very settled line-up from last year.
Dunstan A was ahead by four with a few minutes to go.
The girls will learn how important executing the basics is with errors creeping in under pressure, allowing Molyneux to take the game.
It was good to see a number of new umpires taking the whistle following the clinics run by the Netball Centre.
Stacey Haig umpired her first A grade game and she did a marvellous job.
She was nervous before the game, but was totally in control.
Tina Tuamoheloa also did well.
Both Stacey and Tina were umpiring A grade games, although they usually play in lower grades. Well done ladies – we are looking forward to seeing you and others develop confidence umpiring at his level thus filling an important role in the game.
It is also pleasing to see young high school players umpiring the year 7-8 games.
Not only are they fulfilling a necessary role, but these girls will be able to use their knowledge of the rules to improve their own game.
This Saturday we will see the high school match between Dunstan A and Cromwell College at 10am and Ex-Girls will meet Roxburgh Area A at 2.20pm. In the B grade Envy is up against the Earnscleugh Emeralds at 12.10pm.
Play starts at 10am and goes through until 3pm.
There is a full canteen running and the coffee truck as well as Mr Whippy are usually on hand.
What a wonderful way to spend a winter’s afternoon – watching local netball at its best.