St Kevin’s College gained revenge for defeat in last year’s final by toppling Valley Gold in North Otago premier netball on Saturday.
The clash between the only two unbeaten teams in the top grade was always going to be the feature of the last match day of the first round.
It did not disappoint, St Kevin’s making a hot start and riding that to a 40-34 win.
That means St Kevin’s topped the table after the first round with a record of five wins and a draw.
followed by Waitaki Girls’ High School Lightning Strike (three wins, a draw and two losses) and Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire and Maheno, both of which had a 3-3 record.
Points are wiped for the next round, which begins this weekend with the addition of leading second-tier side Kurow, making the premier grade an eight-team competition.
In the feature game, St Kevin’s started well with Molly Kay and Jaimee Trainor dominating the shooting circle.
Georgia Oakes created lots of turnover ball at wing defence as St Kevin’s built leads of 7-4 (first quarter), 19-11 (halftime) and 30-23 (third quarter).
Leeanne Mavor led from the front for Valley Gold at both goal attack and centre, and Sarah Newlands played well when she entered the game at goal keep at halftime, but the schoolgirls showed composure to bring it home.
Maheno continued its form with a 33-15 win over Athletic.
Both teams took time to settle into the game, but Maheno took control to lead 9-5 after the first quarter, 15-10 at halftime and 24-12 after three quarters.
Shannon Vince created more options for the Maheno feeders when she came on at goal shoot, and a change in the defensive circle for Maheno – Sonya Macdonald moving into goal defence – restricted passing opportunities for Athies.
Regular goal keep Tina Williamson went down with a knee injury in the third quarter in another blow for Athies.
Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire beat Valley Silver 35-15 in the other game.