Strong CO links to victorious South

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I had a break from netball this week and joined the crowds at Forsyth Barr Stadium for the All Blacks game. The atmosphere at these high-level games is tremendous, but to see the skill and flair from the All Blacks, as they took control, was amazing.
That is why I was slightly disappointed to see the poor turnout at the final of the inaugural Beko League Final that was held in Auckland on Sunday night between the South Zone team and Central Zone from the Wellington area. What a great game that turned out to be, and even better because two of the team started their netball here in Central and two others have the strong family ties with our area.
Ex-Cromwell player Jennifer O’Connell played the full game at goal shoot, starting with South Otago’s Sophie Erwood at goal attack. Sophie was replaced at the end of the first quarter by Clyde girl Jamie Hume, who seemed to be more confident under the basket, as well as feeding. Abby Erwood who played the full game in the defensive circle, had an awesome game, putting the Central zone shooters under pressure. Jennifer, who started her netball in Cromwell and made agegroup teams in Central before heading to North Otago, was a strength for South, which won the game 51-46.
JUNIOR GAMES
A close game was anticipated when Teviot Wonderwomen met Terrace Green. Both teams were unbeaten going into the match but the Wonderwomen took control early and dominated until the final whistle, winning by 24-14.
Alexandra Kaka also won well over Terrace White 43-16, but it was a much closer game when Clyde Alley Cats beat Cromwell College Jnr A 11-9.
The Years 7/8 A grade section has now finished its first round with Teviot Wonderwomen on 20 points, Terrace Green on 16 and Alexandra Kaka on 13.
SENIOR NETBALL
Loose Contracting led Ex-Girls by one point at each break until the third quarter when scores were tied 20-20, in a truly exciting game. Basic errors in the final quarter took their toll on the Loose Contracting team, allowing Ex-Girls to win by 30-25. Ex-Girls defensive duo of Adele Gott and Kerrie Fahey shut down the Loose Contracting shooters, and fought for rebounds when the ball did go up.
Cromwell College put up a great battle against Molyneux last weekend but its performance this week against Dunstan A was disappointing. Maybe the players were surprised with the intensity that the Dunstan girls put on from the first whistle to take the first quarter 13-2 and finish the game 48-7. Once again, Stacey Elliot was able to move her girls around, and many of them were in very unfamiliar positions. Molly Ellis had a quarter at wing attack, while Sydney Cook and Jessie Dick combined at GA and GS in the goal circle in the final quarter. Dunstan looked confident, following its successful game against Molyneux last week, and I’m predicting they will be hard to beat.
Although Monteith’s Molyneux A beat Dunstan B 51-11, the Dunstan girls have to be congratulated for their through court play and determination. They played strongly to the end, only to be thwarted by the Molyneux defence.
Molyneux had called Elaisa Chapman and Camille O’Connor from retirement and both thoroughly enjoyed the day. Camille looked as though she’d never left the court, slotting goals with ease, and Elaisa was still jumping out of her skin as she played centre for the injured Megan Longman.
Kaea Anderson played a strong game at wing defence for Dunstan B, and will be an asset in the combined Upper Clutha/Central Otago Under 17 team.
I mentioned last week that we have a number of new umpires out on the courts, but it appears that there has been some disrespect shown towards umpires lately.
After each game the umpires score both teams on presentation, attitude to umpires, attitude to other players, preparation and supporters’ behaviour. At the end of the season, a cup is awarded to the team with the best rating from their umpires. On the negative side, those teams who are consistently scoring low points are observed by committee members. This seems a bit archaic-old schoolish, but it is important that players and supporters alike display a positive attitude towards the game, their opposition and towards the umpires.
It was heartening to watch a young umpire showing confidence and knowledge of the game when she was umpiring a primary game recently. Only in Year 7, Neve Spooner was showing signs of going far as an umpire if she chooses this path.
The Netball Centre has announced its major fundraiser for the year. On July 30, we will be hosting Mrs Brownz Boys in the Alexandra Community Centre. Tickets include a three-course meal and the show, and can be purchased through the Central Otago Netball Facebook page. This will be a great show and a very easy way to support netball in Central Otago.