North Otago netballers win Hanan Shield

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North Otago downed old foes Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury at the Taward St netball courts on Saturday to win the Hanan Shield for the first time since 2007.

North Otago were dominant throughout in their opening fixture against South Canterbury, taking a 44-30 victory.

The visiting sides then took to the court at noon, with Mid Canterbury notching a 32-21 win to set up a tantalising fixture between North Otago and Mid Canterbury.

The home side produced another fine display for a 40-27 win.

North Otago coach Abbey McKenzie said the hard work and dedication of her players paid off.

“We have been training really well and that showed on court. Each and every girl was prepared for a tough encounter and we knew we would have to lift as a team, which they all did,” she said.

North Otago were busy from the outset, putting their opponents under pressure and forcing errors.

McKenzie said the quick start was vital against well organised and physical opponents.

“We were hungry and came out firing, which put both other teams on back foot and surprised them,” she said.

“Other teams were physical and had good structure, however, appeared to be rattled with our good starts.”

See more photos of the action on page 17.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: JAMES FORD – North Otago’s Jennifer O’Connell was in fine form against South Canterbury in the opening fixture of the day.