Top effort from high school netballers

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The South Island Secondary Schools netball tournament in Christchurch hosted a total of 86 teams from Monday, culminating in finals played on Wednesday.

The Oamaru contingent consisted of a St Kevin’s College Year 9 side and teams from Waitaki Girls’ years 9 and 10. SKC were unable to send a year 10 group due to a lack of personnel.

Waitaki Girls’ Year 9 were winless in Pool C, falling 40-12 to Marlborough in their opening fixture before losing out 48-11 to Waimea in round two and Lincoln 39-12 in their final pool stage tie.

Papanui were next on WGHS Year 9’s agenda and fell to a tightly-contested 23-21 loss, before losing out to Mt Hutt 28-12.

Waitaki then took on Timaru Girls’ in their semi-final playoff for 29th to 32nd placing, losing out 25-14.

WGHS were unable to play their final match due to Linwood defaulting but coach Karen Metherell praised her players’ efforts.

“The girls played exceptionally well. It wasn’t our strongest team because of injuries but they played very well,” she said.

St Kevin’s Year 9 got off to a similar start in Pool G with a 37-16 loss to St Margaret’s and a 29-19 defeat to Marian but managed to rally in their round three clash for a 33-23 victory over Mt Hutt.

The blue and reds then lost out 38-30 to St Hilda’s in their first bottom 16 encounter but managed a 36-18 win over James Hargest College to find some good form for another win in their 17th to 24th quarter final placing match with St Andrew’s in a 33-22 victory.

SKC then handed Cashmere a 35-33 loss in their next tie before losing out to Burnside 27-18 in their finals match to finish in 18th place overall.

With St Kevin’s unable to send a team north, Waitaki flew the local year 10 flag alone and managed a final placing of 15th.

Marian were first up and narrowly edged Waitaki out 26-22.

Undeterred by the defeat, Waitaki Girls’ put Cashmere and Otago Girls’ to the sword 32-22 and 29-23 respectively to qualify for the top 16 playoffs.

Top seeded Christchurch Girls’ proved too strong for the black and reds in their next fixture for a 42-15 defeat and James Hargest in a 39-27 loss, before losing out to Nelson and South Otago in their next matches but ended on a high with a 29-21 victory over Burnside.

Waimea went on to take out the Year 10 grade with a 34-20 win over Southland Girls’ while Taieri were the best of the Year 9s for a 24-22 final victory over Christchurch Girls’ High School.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: DI CLEVELAND – Waitaki’s Johanna Matsinger defending against Nelson Girls’ at the South Island Secondary Schools netball tournament.