Maheno leaned on all of its experience and defensive nous to get its first win, and hand Waitaki Girls’ Lightning Strike its first loss, in North Otago premier netball on Saturday.
Led by outstanding defender Mel Smith, Maheno ground out a 20-16 win in a low-scoring game that featured dozens of turnovers.
Wing attack Anika McLennan and wing defence Carla-Jane Cleverley also had productive games for Maheno, which led 6-3 after the first quarter, 14-7 at halftime, and 16-10 after three quarters.
Lightning Strike defenders Charlotte Weir and Maikale Fifita put in good shifts, but the schoolgirls could not find a way through the Maheno back three.
Valley Gold and St Kevin’s College are the two unbeaten teams in the premier grade.
Defending champion Valley Gold battled through a tricky start to beat Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire 42-28.
It was 7-7 after the first quarter but Valley had nudged ahead 19-15 at halftime and 31-25 at the three-quarter mark.
Veteran wing attack Petra Aspros had a strong game for Valley, feeding the circle with precision, while Shay Frost came off the bench to make a huge impact at goal keep with her long arms and nose for an intercept.
defender Kira Mortimer and wing attack Kaylah Rawson were stand-outs for Wildfire, which fought hard to the final whistle.
St Kevin’s led from the start before posting a 46-17 win over Athletic.
Gemma Dowling led the schoolgirls superbly in both the goal defence and wing attack bibs, while Renee Webster shone on attack for Athletic.