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ANN CONDER

“How much would it cost to cover these courts?” was a question asked a number of times last Saturday, as we were subjected to icy winds that chilled to the bone.

“Too much” came the reply, “and we would miss the sunshine that usually comes out during the day”.

It sure was cold though!

I mentioned last week that the years 7 and 8 sections might provide closer games than we are seeing in the senior competition and that was certainly the case in some of those junior games this week.

Terrace Green took some time to settle in their game against Maniototo Steel.

The Terrace girls struggled to get their ball close enough to the goal for an easy shot, the ball being deflected regularly by Perri Hore at goal defence for Maniototo. However, Terrace centre Grace Begg, playing tirelessly on attack and defence, stopped the Maniototo pathway through court time and time again.

This was a very low scoring game – the shooters may have been affected by the wind – with Terrace Green narrowly winning 11-10.

Dunstan A dominated from the start when they played their school B team.

The strength of the A team was in the midcourt zone that is becoming a feature of their game this year.

The B team had difficulty getting the centre pass away, being unsettled with the As putting a very strong defence on that all-important pass.

Praise to Dunstan A shooters Mekah O’Neill and Grace Ellis whose shooting stats were a credit to them and a reward for their team.

The B team members kept their heads up until the final whistle, but were not able to claw back.

Dunstan A took the game 46-10.

Molyneux also dominated in their game against Ex-Girls, but the score does not show the determination and skill shown by Ex-Girls throughout the game.

The Ex-Girls defensive pairing of Stevie Payne and Annalise Casper picked up many tips and intercepts going into the Molyneux circle, but the full court Molyneux defence thwarted the passage down to the Ex-Girls goal time and again.

Molyneux won the game by a confident 33-11.

Many local high school teams were taking part in the Dunedin Secondary Schools’ Tournament on Sunday and Monday this week.

Teams play a round-robin in their sections on the Sunday and then break into top eight/bottom eight for Monday.

This format puts all teams at the mercy of the strength of the Sunday pools, and Dunstan A was unable to proceed to the top eight after losing to St Hilda’s, which finished second in the final, and South Otago which finished third.

The Dunstan A team then went on to win both their Sunday games against Mt Aspiring College and Taieri to comfortably take ninth place.

Cromwell College fared better, getting through to the top eight and taking the eighth position.

Roxburgh area A came second in the final of B Grade, although one of their players suffered a serious knee injury in the final.

Dunstan 10A ended up in fourth place having lost their 3/4 play-off by one point.

Unfortunately, they were also troubled by injuries and were “being held together by strapping tape at the end”, as said by one observer.

For the year 9 teams this was their first experience of tournament play, as there are no years 7 and 8 representative fixtures, so for Dunstan 9A this would have been a baptism of fire.

City teams have played more games so the Dunstan girls did well to hold on to seventh place.

The game of the day this Saturday will have to be the top of the table clash between Molyneux and Dunstan A.

Both teams are unbeaten, and it’s probably safe to say that neither team has been truly pushed this season.

Dunstan could have the edge having competed in the Dunedin Secondary Schools Tournament, but Molyneux have the advantage of experience.

Dunstan 9A and the Earnscleugh Emeralds will both be working hard to secure their first win of the season when they meet on Saturday.

Good luck to both teams!