Wet weekend for netballers

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The weather Gods did not quite get the order correct on Saturday when some games were played in heavy rain at Saxton Courts.
The 4pm round was the worst effected as the rain poured down. I had the task of filling in as an umpire for the Waimea College Donna’s Divas against Nelson College C Grade 5 game. Umpiring is not my forte and therefore, not my most favoured part of netball – I am a great umpire on the sidelines, can see all that the officiating umpire misses but put a whistle in my mouth and I am not too crash hot. While Donna’s Divas dominated throughout the court and had a convincing 33-5 win, the game was played in great spirits in very trying conditions – I just hope I didn’t add to them.
In the Grade 4 game played at Saxton Courts on Saturday Richmond Robbie’s Bar & Bistro Sleepers beat Rival Jade 34-24 to maintain second place in the standings. Rival, by their own admission did not have their best game as they struggled to get the ball through the court, however goal defence, Melissa Mathieson did come in for praise from her team mates.
The premier promotion/relegation game was played between Taylors Wanderers and Prices Black at Teapot Valley Community Centre on Sunday. Prices Black won the right to play as they had an unblemished record in Grade 1.
Prices took to the court firing on all cylinders and were totally focussed on the game at hand. Wanderers on the other hand, appeared out of sorts from the first whistle and while not making excuses for them they appeared to struggle with the size of the court, or the lack thereof. The court at Teapot Valley is not a regulation size and although it could not be used as an excuse by Wanderers, Prices did have the advantage of playing there on Thursday night.
While Wanderers opened their account with their centre pass, it was all Prices from then on, scoring nine unanswered goals with shooters Leigh Leigh Wiremu and Emma Riddell finding their rhythm from the onset. Wanderers could only slot one more goal to bring the score to 2-10 at the first break. While Wanderers lifted a notch in the second period they still fell short of Prices 5-12.
With Prices leading 22-7 at the major break, the game was all but gone for Wanderers however they did redeem themselves in becoming more competitive in the second half (losing 6-9 and sharing the final quarter 8 all). There were numerous passes which went astray, particularly in the attacking third. Wanderers shooters, Kayla Fry and Kayla Cross appeared to be intimidated by the formidable goal keep Dayveen Stephens.They were denied the second opportunity with Prices defenders getting good body position for the rebound.
Wanderers centre, Pip Lee toiled continuously – she hassled on defence, scrapping for every bit of loose ball. She was the punch through court, she drove onto the ball and worked hard to get to circle edge for the optimum feed to her shooters.
Wanderers circle defenders Jen Horncastle and Hayley Campbell were inspirational against the slick attack as the ball rocketed in to the accurate shooters.
Prices centre Ashleigh McLean was stable through court and while a little expensive Hana Wilson could be pleased with her contribution at wing defence. Congratulations to Prices Black with an impressive team performance to take the game 39-21 and their place in the premier grade for round two.