Season now up and humming

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Perfect conditions for winter sport on Saturday had children blowing on their fingers in the first round and then myriad spectators come out in the afternoon sun to watch the senior games.
It was a frosty start but the courts were clear, so it was all go for the 10am start for the primary games.
The Alexandra Kaka v Teviot Wonderwomen game was always going to be close and we were not disappointed. Both teams played with determination all the way to the final whistle, when Teviot Wonderwomen came out the winners by one goal 26-25. Alexandra Kaka has strength in Mikah O’Neill at centre, Brooke Williams at goal defence, and shooters Arahina Wilson and Aarliyah Fowler in the shooting circle.
However, Teviot seems to be more balanced, with all players having their strengths, leading to a more cohesive unit.
Terrace Green had a good win over the Clyde Alleycats, while Cromwell College and Terrace White had another close game with Cromwell College winning by one, 18-17.
This top section of the Years 7/8 Grade is, once again, going to be very interesting. It looks as though Alexandra Kaka, Teviot Wonderwomen and Terrace Green will be the top three but at this stage anything can happen.
It was delightful to see the smiles on the faces of the Years 1 and 2 players, who had their first session on Saturday.
Under direction of Stacey Elliot and an equally enthusiastic group of mums, dads, as well as older brothers and sisters, the youngsters started off with some skills work and finished with a little modified game. What a great introduction to the game.
This is a lovely way for mums who play, or used to play, netball to give a little back to the game, as well being there for their own daughter. For Stacey Elliot this certainly would have been a different scenario from her usual Dunstan A coaching role.
SENIOR NETBALL
Unfortunately, Ex-Girls were not able to field a team for the holiday weekend, so Roxburgh Area School won the game by default. Roxburgh Area would have been wanting this game as a lead up to the Dunedin Secondary School Tournament next weekend.
Dunstan A was always in control of its game against Alexandra A. Leading by 9-3 after the first quarter, I was surprised that the score was so high with Dunstan winning 36-19. This will have given the Dunstan girls a boost going into the tournament in Dunedin where, traditionally, the Dunstan teams have performed well.
Dunstan 10A would have been wanting to perform better when it met Alexandra Green, knowing it was going to the Dunedin tournament as well.
With three players out for the weekend, it wasn’t able to gel against a strong and determined Alexandra team. Shaye Barker and AnneMarie Willcocks continually stopped the Dunstan ball going into the circle, enabling Alexandra to lead all the way, allowing Dunstan 10A to only score three goals in each quarter. Alexandra won by a convincing 22-12.
Perhaps the senior game of the day was between Envy and Dunstan Reserve. Dunstan had led the game all the way and, going into the final quarter, was ahead by seven goals. Envy is known for its late charges and it didn’t disappoint on Saturday. Led by Gemma Hinton, playing at centre, Envy came within two points of Dunstan, but this comeback was a few minutes too late and Dunstan was able to hold on to the two-goal lead to win 30-28. Well done to both of these teams.
Loose Contracting would be delighted with its convincing 41-15 win over Dunstan B, while Maniototo Women also dominated Dunstan 9A, 27-13.
Cromwell College showed courage and skill against Monteiths Molyneux A, but that was not enough to cause any stumbles for the reigning champion. Height and elevation by Stevie Payne and Jenna Keane, combined with slick passing by the mid court players, Lucy Anderson and Megan Longman, gave the Cromwell girls few chances. Once again though, this was a good game to have played before heading to Dunedin next weekend. Molyneux led 16-8 at halftime, going on to win 32-17.
REPRESENTATIVE SELECTIONS
Selectors will be starting to look at the Under 15 and Under 14 players who are available for the Central Otago teams. Although their representative season doesn’t start until July, coaches will be wanting to spend time developing combinations over the next few weeks.
Years 7 and 8 coaches should have their representative nominations in so the selectors can start to look at them. Once again there are no fixtures until July.
A combined Upper Clutha/Central Otago Under 17 team has been announced and once again will be coached by Abby Holden, assisted by Marie Holden. The U17s will play leadup games in Winton and Oamaru, before heading to the Under 17 Nationals in Rangiora in the July holidays.
The combined team is: Claudia Patton, Laurel Williams, Sarah Hogan (CC); Laura MacCulloch, Holly Wigg (Mt Asp); Kaea Anderson, Sophie Williamson, Amy Lord, Breigh Monaghan (DHS); Brooke Johnston, Erin Vernon (RAS).
Well done and best wishes to these players.
Also best wishes to the Secondary School teams who are going to the Dunedin Tournament following their local games this weekend.