SHARE
Eyes up . . . Kurow's Rochelle Francis-Hunt puts up a shot, defended by Waitaki Girls' Lightning Strike goal defence Holly Beazer. Maikale Fifita (WGHS) and Bella Martin (Kurow) watch on. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

Waitaki Girls’ High School and Valley proved they will be forces to be reckoned with this season, claiming all points on the opening day of premier netball in North Otago on Saturday.

A young Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire team will take a lot of confidence from defeating 2018 runner up Maheno. Wildfire took a five-goal lead into the halftime break, but an experienced Maheno side came out firing in the third quarter with its experienced midcourt leading the way.

At three quarter time, Maheno had taken a 15-14 lead.

In the final quarter, Waitaki Girls’ shooting circle of Madaleine Mansfield and Brylee Milmine netted some pressure goals for Wildfire, their team ending the game with a two-goal winning margin, 21-19.

Waitaki Girls’ Lightning Strike defeated a much-improved Kurow side 34-27 in a tough and physical encounter on Saturday. Lightning Strike applied firm pressure throughout the court, led by co-captains Laura Dunshea and Maikale Fifta.

Both sides were accurate on shot and Lightning Strike’s young shooting circle of Losa Fifta and Milly Matthews found excellent space.

Kurow’s goal keep Steph Voice played well up against tall opposition and the second half shooting combination of Rochelle Francis-Hunt and Rebecca McIntyre worked well. Both teams brought new combinations into the season that will take time to gel, but look to be ones to watch.

St Kevin’s A had a slow start against Valley Gold, trailing 12-18 at half time. Missing players, St Kevin’s could not afford to make substitutions, which took its toll in the second half as Valley went on to take the game 41-28. Valley Gold gelled well as a team, with shoot Brytnee Firman having a very good game.

Valley Silver put on a strong performance, beating Athletic Maroon 26-16. It was a good team effort for a side that has not been together for long. PJ Bell led the team well and Ana Siale was dominant on defence. For Athletic, versatile Blayze Tisdall was strong, playing well in various positions.