Fine netball expected from finals

Well done to Dunstan A for winning the Barbara Bell Tournament on Sunday.
Only four teams entered this year but this did not diminish the calibre of the competition.
The Central U17 team was brought in to boost numbers, giving this team another opportunity to play together.
The tournament has been in place for a number of years to provide a tournament for local secondary school teams preparing for the secondary school tournament later in the month.
Dunstan A certainly took advantage of the opportunity to play three games against other high school teams.
Dunstan won all its games, but had to work hard when it met South Otago, winning by just two points, 23-21.
St Peter’s had led all the way in its game against Dunstan but the local girls kept their heads and coach Stacey Elliott made some positional changes, which proved successful, as Dunstan won 28-24.
Dunstan A will certainly be raring to go this Saturday when they meet Molyneux A in the A Grade Section 1 final.
It was great to see the Central U17 combined team have another outing at the Barbara Bell, filling a gap at the last moment.
It won three of its four games, ending up in second position. The girls looked slick and confident, thoroughly enjoying their games.
When I arrived at the courts on Saturday, the area was shrouded in thick fog but the sun was doing its best to peek through. By the beginning of the second round it was perfect netball conditions: sun shining, tinged with a slight nip from the snowy scenery surrounding us.
The primary competition has two more rounds, finishing on August 27, while the seniors finish this weekend.
The Year 7-8 Section 1 looks as though it will be contested by Terrace Green and Teviot Wonderwomen, after Terrace narrowly beat Alexandra Kaka at the weekend and Wonderwomen beat Terrace White.
Teviot Wildcats are unbeaten in Year 7-8 Section 2A and Clyde Daredevils have dominated the section 2B grade.
It was exciting to have my team of netball newbies finally have a win on Saturday.
It was so good to see their faces when they heard the score. Let’s go for another win this weekend girls!
When Terrace Green and Alexandra Kaka meet, we are always in for a good game, and we weren’t disappointed on Saturday. At three-quarter time the scores were tied. The game had seesawed and it was not until the final moments that Terrace Green took the lead and won the game, 23-21.
Dunstan A had to pull out all the stops intheir final quarter against Alexandra A. The Alexandra team was strong throughout court and their communication with each other was evident. The shooters were being fed cleanly and confidently by centre Pania Watson and Claire Scott responded with high shooting percentages. At the other end, Nicole Barnes and Kristie Andrews forced the Dunstan shooters to shoot high. The score was 25-24 to Alexandra going into the final quarter when, once again, the Dunstan girls showed resilience anddetermination to take the game 35-29.
Dunstan 10A dominated their game against Dunstan B, which was without many of its usual players. The 10As had to play most of their game with six players because they had no spare names on the registration when Briana Scarfe went off injured. Players need to be included on the score card at the start of the game to be able to take the court. This did not affect the pressure 10A was able to show throughout the court. Once again, Suzie Morrow and Erin Bennie were more hungry for the ball than their opposition. 10A beat Dunstan B 32-25.
Dunstan B then went on to beat Dunstan Senior Reserve 31-19, and 10A won its game against Alexandra Green 28-18.
These results have left the B Grade Section 1 in an interesting position going into the finals on Saturday.
Dunstan 10 A has a clear lead on 12 points. Dunstan B and Alexandra Green are next on six points each. By going through goal averages, the final for this grade will be between Dunstan 10A and Alexandra Green, with Dunstan B and Dunstan Reserve playing for third and fourth.
A Grade Section 2 has also given the draw stewards a headache. Ex-Girls are on top of that grade, following a good win over Loose Contracting 31-24, but Contracting and Cromwell College A are tied in second position. Contracting has a higher goal average and goes through to contest the final with Ex-Girls.
Saturday is certainly going to be an interesting day at the courts and we are sure to be treated to a feast of finals netball.
Throughout this season I have talked about how our young players are getting involved in umpiring, and our umpiring academy has certainly been successful this year.
But umpiring is not for everyone, and a number of our players are putting their skills into coaching. Many high school players make themselves available to coach primary teams and the schools truly appreciate this. Our local representative teams are in the hands of some of our younger players.
Cromwell’s Abby Holden started her coaching career in this way and this season she has been coaching St Hilda’s Senior B in Dunedin and, of course, was co-coach with her mother, Marie, of the Combined Central Otago U17 team. Abby took a week off her nursing job to attend the national U17 tournament in Rangiora. Commitment such as this ensures the future of netball throughout the country is in good hands.

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