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Happy in her work . . . Waitaki Girls' Lightning Strike goal shoot Losa Fifita prepares for a shot during the game against Athletic on the opening day of North Otago premier netball on Saturday. PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

Molly Hurst inspired a stunning Waitaki Girls’ High School Wildfire comeback on the opening day of premier netball on Saturday.

The schoolgirls came from a mile back to pip an experienced Maheno side 28-27 in the dying seconds of the game.

My ball . . . Maheno goal keep Melissa Smith and Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire goal shoot Madaleine Mansfield contest possession. PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

Maheno, powered as usual by classy centre Kat Kawau, roared out of the gates, leading 9-4 after the first quarter, 18-13 at halftime, and 24-19 going into the final quarter.

It looked like game over before Hurst, a goal attack with bucketloads of skill and determination, rallied her troops.

The schoolgirls froze the supply of ball into the Maheno circle, and capitalised on Maheno mistakes to edge ahead.

Waitaki Girls’ Lightning Strike made it a double for the school when it beat Athletic 40-28.

Eyes up . . . Athletic shooter Olivia Brien prepares to go for goal. PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

St Kevin’s College, which has just left for a tournament in Australia, proved far too strong for a new-look Valley Silver side, winning 52-8.

Double team . . . Maheno shooters Shannon Vince (left) and Carmen Brenssell flank Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire goal keep Holly Beazer. PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

Jaimee Trainor was outstanding in the shooting circle for St Kevin’s, while Annie Metcalfe got plenty of ball on defence at the other end.

For most Valley Silver players, it was their first taste of premier netball, and Ashley Smyth and Ani Lafoou acquitted themselves well.

Defending champion Valley Gold had the bye. It had a run-out against the North Otago under-17 squad, which will provide opposition for the bye team in the opening round.