Dynamic midcourter Whitney Cleveland and tireless defender Hannah Cunningham inspired St Kevin’s College A to a thrilling 25-24 win over Maheno in the second round of North Otago premier netball on Saturday.
It was a tight tussle from the opening whistle as both teams’ defenders showed an ability to grab turnovers and generally disrupt the flow of ball into the circle.
Maheno, led by hard-working goal keep Mel Smith and polished wing attack Anika McLennan, led 14-12 at halftime, but St Kevin’s charged back to lead 19-17 after three quarters and cling on to the end.
Cleveland was particularly strong when she moved from centre to wing attack and started finding her reliable shooter, Brytnee Firman.
Cunningham had an outstanding game at goal defence, coming up with important intercepts and rebounds for the school side.
Waitaki Girls’ High School come from behind to beat Valley Silver 34-27.
Valley Silver, led by a big effort from goal keep Emily Borst, led 7-6 at the first break and 16-15 at halftime, but the schoolgirls won the third quarter 12-4 and maintained their lead till the finish.
Molly Hurst landed some crucial goals for Lightning Strike, India McLay rebounded well, and Charlotte Weir, a year 10 pupil, made an impressive debut and a couple of excellent intercepts.
Valley Gold maintained its usual high standards to cruise to a 46-23 win over WGHS Wildfire.
Nicky Wallace showed her versatility by playing strongly in both the defensive circle and at centre for Valley Gold, which led 24-12 at halftime.
Izzy Hurst shone on defence for Wildfire, while year 9 pupil Emma Perry – a Valley junior last year – made a promising debut against the best team in the competition.