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ANN CONDER

The 2019 netball season came to a very exciting end for some teams on Saturday.

It has been an extremely busy week at the Molyneux courts, with Netball South Primary Tournaments’ closing day and the U-14 and U-15 tournaments on Sunday.

Molyneux A took out the A-grade title from Dunstan A who would have been hoping to finish on a high before heading off to Nelson for the South Island Secondary School Tournament in two weeks’ time.

Molyneux dominated from the start of the game, giving a slick display of through court play and tight defence which was impenetrable for the Dunstan feeders throughout the first half.

The second half was a more even contest, but at no stage did Molyneux look threatened.

The final score was 50-39 to Molyneux A.

Only Envy could have altered the outcome of the B-grade round robin, and the team worked hard to take the win from Anahera and managed a 27-27 draw, but the Alexandra Anaheras were able to hold on to the grade.

What a season it has been for Cromwell College Junior A who took the C-grade title from Maniototo Blue.

These years 7 and 8 players have beaten all other teams in their section having played in the junior competition in the first round.

These girls have a wonderful attitude and commitment to their team and I congratulate them, along with coach Marie Piebanga and manager Robyn Bissett, for an awesome season.

These girls, as a team and as individuals, will be featuring at higher levels in the future.

Well done to you all.

It is nice to see teams from the outlying areas coming through to win trophies, and Maniototo Gold won the D-grade cup.

Maniototo Steel were playing St Gerard’s Steel in the years 7 and 8 final, but were not able to contain the St Gerard’s girls who won by a mere 13-9.

Terrace Yellow played steady netball to take the years 7 and 8 B-grade trophy.

It was pleasing to see a number of aspiring umpires being recognised for their efforts and commitments, especially Neleah Manderson who was awarded the most improved umpire.

I have watched Neleah throughout the season and she shows extraordinary confidence and knowledge of the game, and we can but hope that she continues along her umpiring pathway.

A full list of recipients is below but special mention must go to coach of the year Maree Piebanga and volunteer of the year, Bethan Spooner.

There were many worthy nominations for these awards – it is such a difficult job to make these decisions. Well done to all nominees.

A very surprised Marilyn Ross was awarded the Central Otago Netball Centre Service Award during the prizegiving ceremony.

Marilyn has given many years as treasurer before joining the group of fossils who give many hours of their time to work behind the scenes for netball in the area.

President Ange McDonald made special mention of this group who love giving back to the sport that we love.

If there are any other fossils out there who would like to join the group get in touch with the writer, or contact can be made through the centre’s Facebook page.

The Netball South Primary School Tournaments were held last week over two very successful days. Teams from all corners of Central Otago descended on Alexandra to play in the tournament.

On Sunday, to finish the season, Central Otago hosted the U-14 and U-15 tournaments on behalf of Netball South.

Twenty teams were entered and all enjoyed a lovely day in the Central Otago sun with some strong competition coming to the fore.

Dunedin A won the U-15 grade, with Eastern coming in second.

Central Otago were fourth in this grade.

Dunedin A also won the U-14 grade with Upper Clutha in second place.

Unfortunately, our Central girls did not fare so well, finishing in 10th place.

So our 2019 season comes to an end.

There will be an international series played later in the year, just to keep us on edge, and it is great to see the reinstatement of a Senior Women’s Club Tournament in Dunedin at the end of September.

Have a great summer.