Who would have thought on Friday the Millers Flat Netball and Rugby Tournament would be played in perfect winter conditions on Saturday.
There were record entries in the netball – 15 in the senior section and 16 in the intermediate grade. Incidentally, there were 68 rugby teams.
This was an impressive hosting achievement for a small school.
Winners in the netball competitions were Holy Flames, from Holy Family School in Wanaka, from Wanaka Primary Blue Ferns in the years 5/6 and Cromwell College Jnr A from Mount Aspiring A in the years 7/8 section.
Well done to these teams, and a special congratulations and thanks to the committee at the Millers Flat School.
Senior netball continued in Alexandra with some very interesting results.
Some games were deferred and will be played through the week because players were involved in the the Millers Flat Tournament.
Players from the Roxburgh Club and from Roxburgh Area School helped with umpiring and many primary school coaches played for their own senior teams.
The Central Otago Centre was supportive in allowing games to be played during the week thus enabling more entries for the tournament.
Saturday’s games started with Dunstan B playing Dunstan 10A.
As expected, this was a close game and only three points separated the teams at the final whistle.
Dunstan 10A was strong in defending the Dunstan B centre passes, putting up a wall defence. The 10As appeared to be missing Jessie Moffit, who was injured during a representative game the previous weekend.
Jessie has been playing at GK and GS and has shown she can foot it against most at both ends of the court – definitely a player to watch.
The Bs’ Aria Monaghan fed confidently to shooter Mackenzie Ealson, who was strong throughout the game, taking the ball at height and shooting well.
Dunstan B won 42-39 in a game that could have gone either way.
Molyneux A may have underestimated the determination of Dunstan Senior Reserve because the Senior Reserves were only three behind at the first break.
Lauren Gray (GK) and Hannah McCulloch (GD), along with Brooke Williams (WD) caused problems for the Molyneux feeders and shooters, forcing errors, although Molyneux’s mid-courters repeatedly thwarted the through court push from the Dunstan team.
Molyneux got into its stride in the second quarter and went on to take the game 66-24.
Tash Kelly and Vanessa Breen put in strong defence work for Molyneux.
Cromwell Vixens proved they fully deserved to be in the B grade after starting the season in C grade.
In a close game from the outset, Alexandra Aaheras lead the Vixens at the end of the first quarter.
The score see-sawed and at half time the Vixens were ahead.
Nicole Barnes, GK for the Cromwell Vixens, had unsettled the Alexandra goal circle and changes were made at halftime with Anne-Marie Willcocks putting on the GS bib, thus strengthening the Alexandra attack, but Vixens were still up by one at three-quarter time.
A last minute push by the Alexandra team right on the whistle gave it the edge to take the game 22-19. Well done to both teams – a great game.
The winter weather throughout the South meant the annual Barbara Bell Tournament was reduced from a record 15 teams to a mere five.
Games were moved to the Dunstan High School gymnasium.
As expected, South Otago High School won all its games, albeit by only one point against Wakatipu High School and against Dunstan High School, which came in second and third respectively. The draw was changed at the last minute to a round-robin giving all teams four games and an outright winner – South Otago High School.
Despite the reduced draw, those teams who did manage to get through will certainly have enjoyed their day.
There are two weeks to go in the 2019 season, games finishing on August 17.
Competition games should be closer for the next two weeks as the finals approach.