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Friendly rivalry . . . Waitaki Girls' High School Wildfire goal shoot Molly Hurst (left) jostles for position with Lightning Strike goal keep Holly Beazer at the Oamaru courts last week. PHOTO: HAYDEN MEIKLE

Wildfire won the battle of the Waitaki Girls’ High School teams with a come-from-behind 23-21 win over Lightning Strike in the North Otago premier netball clash last week.

Played on Thursday afternoon to free up the weekend for formal-goers, the game was a typically tight tussle between the fellow Waitaki Girls’ teams.

Wildfire had narrow leads after the first quarter (6-3) and at halftime (12-10), but Lightning Strike roared into action to have a 19-16 advantage going into the final quarter.

Wildfire, inspired by dynamic young shooter Molly Hurst, regained control just in time to register a win.

The pick of the other games was Athletic’s 25-22 win over a gutsy Valley Silver side.

Megan Greene shone at wing defence then goal defence for Athletic, which led 15-10 at halftime but had to fight hard to stay in front of a fast-finishing Silver team.

The battle of the rival centres was a real feature. Monique Verdonk provided an excellent link between Athletic’s defence and attack, while roving Valley player Mikayla Cleveland delivered some lovely ball into the Valley shooters.

Valley Gold had to maintain its high standards to beat St Kevin’s College A 32-26.

Briar Wilson produced another immaculate display at goal keep for Valley, snatching some tide-turning intercepts and combining well with the rest of the defensive unit.

Valley led by 10 goals going into the final quarter but the schoolgirls lifted their efforts and came home strongly.

Maheno flattered to deceive in its 34-19 win over St Kevin’s B.

The school team only trailed by a goal after the first quarter, and actually won the final quarter by a goal as Maddy Skinner (shooting 90%), Brylee More, Taylor Pickworth and Fran Black stepped up.

Maheno made a lot of early mistakes but got back on track through some tireless work from reliable centre Kathryn Kawau and formidable defence from wing defence Anika McLennan.