North Otago teams in perfect form

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The North Otago netballers performed well at the Aitken Shield in Geraldine over the weekend with the year 6, year 7, year 8 and senior teams all returning to Oamaru undefeated.

The year 6 group were exceptional again, following on from their victorious outing at the Dunedin Champs a week earlier, and proved too strong for the opposition.

Temuka were first up and beaten convincingly 30-7, before downing Geraldine and Waimate 24-4 and 21-3 respectively.

Coach Leigh Petrie praised her players’ performances in all areas of the court.

“The passing skills and speed throughout the court matched with strong defensive work and accurate shooting resulted in good wins,” she said.

“It allowed the team to have a bit of fun, to try a wide range of player combinations and to introduce some to new court positions at representative level.”

The year 7 team also produced fine displays, taking home a 100 per cent record after toppling Geraldine 21-14 and handing Waimate a 43-3 mauling.

Coach Mel Lewis said all of the players’ skills had improved throughout the season and she was looking forward to next season.

“The Year 7 netball team finished their season with a superb effort from all 10 girls,” she said.

“(The) girls had amazing attitudes all day and played some very slick netball at times.

“The last game saw the girls playing different positions, but they all have learnt enough that they stuck to the game plan, looked after each other and finished strongly.

“All girls have improved over the past two months together and I look forward to seeing these girls back on court next year.”

The year 8 girls competed well and played some well-drilled netball, putting Temuka to the sword for an impressive 26-5 win in their opening fixture.

Coach Jane Paton said the team’s second match of the competition against Geraldine was a tough battle, but managed to muster a tightly-contested 20-14 victory.

“Going into the Geraldine match, we knew the competition would be strong, and at times the girls struggled to adapt to Geraldine’s game but we came out with the win by 20-14 in the end after sticking to the basics and eliminating errors,” she said.

The year 8 side completed a hat-trick of wins, with a 35-4 hiding of Waimate in their last game.

“Playing Waimate in the third game of the day, we were confident going into the match, but also had two players out with injuries,” she said.

“We tried some new combinations which paid off. All the girls have had a great season and it was a nice way to finish with the clean sweep.”

Not to be outdone, the senior team also recorded a fine set of results with a 33-12 win over Waimate and a 29-17 victory over Geraldine.

Coach Abbey McKenzie said it was good to see some new faces representing Otago and the performances provided good preparation for the Hanan Shield on September 27.

McKenzie said Bea Heaphy-Hall was the senior team’s player of the tournament.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: SUPPLIED – The North Otago year 6, year 7, year 8 and senior players.