The clash between the only two unbeaten teams in North Otago premier club netball was always going to be the feature of the day.
It did not disappoint, Valley Gold making a hot start and riding that to a 47-34 win over Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire on Saturday.
That means undefeated Valley Gold tops the premier table on five wins with two games left in the first round.
After a slow start against Waitaki Girls’ Lightning Strike the week before, Valley Gold coach Rihi Schultz said the team “definitely had a point to prove” against Wildfire.
Shay Frost demonstrated she can play both ends of the court, having a great outing at goal attack. As always, Leeanne Mavor was strong at centre and PJ Bell, playing up from Valley Silver, caused a few upsets at goal defence.
Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire coach Steve Ross said some harsh lessons were passed down to his team.
“If you can’t get yourself out of second gear against a team like Valley Gold, you will get punished on the scoreboard,” Ross said.
“Throughout the game, Wildfire proved if they can stick to their structures they are more than capable of competing against this slick Valley Gold side, with some beautiful phases of play.
“However .. that beautiful play was followed by some sloppy netball and against an outfit like Valley Gold you simply cannot do that.”
WGHS Lightning Strike v SKC A
paced game between Waitaki Girls’ Lightning Strike and St Kevin’s A on Saturday. After 40 minutes, they registered a nail-biting 26-26 stalemate.
Shooting percentages were well down on previous weeks, especially for Lightning Strike, which proved the difference, as it was unable to pull away from a very tenacious St Kevin’s team.
Waitaki’s midcourt combination of Kaitlyn King and Laura Dunshea worked well and Maikale Fifita showed off her versatility, playing several different positions throughout the game.
Maheno v Athletic
first quarter, Maheno found its momentum against Athletic in the second quarter and took control of the rest of the game to win 33-18.
Its momentum was not even disrupted when goal keep Briar Wilson went down with a knee injury, forcing the game to move to another court.
Rachel Armstrong (GK) and Mel Smith (GD) combined well at defence, and slick feeding into the circle by Shannon Vince and Kat Kawau gave Maheno plenty of shooting opportunities. For Athletic, Blayze Tisdall (GD) did well to disrupt the flow in Maheno’s shooting circle and Monique Lewis (GA) had a good game against experienced Maheno defence.
Valley Silver v Kurow
team easily dispatched Valley Silver 28-15, taking control from the first whistle. Valley Silver kept the scores close in the second and fourth quarters, but was ultimately outclassed.