With the final round of the championship round yet to be played, the semi-finalists have already been found in the Premier 2 Grade.
Prices Pharmacy Gold, Waimea College A, Tapawera Nelson Honey and Jacks Pro Netball have qualified, however their seedings could change considerably after the final round next week.
Competition has been keen and at times there has been very little between the teams. Saturday’s results had Tapawera and Waimea College 10A scrape through with one goal victories, Jacks Pro Netball had a five goal win while Waimea College A accounted for Prices after a very slow start.
Waimea scored off the first centre pass, however Prices hit the ground running and scored seven unanswered goals and looked to be cruising for a “cricket score”. Prices goal shoot, Dana Weir found her rhythm early to convert a number of long range shots and she was well supported by Emma Riddell who had the perfect record.
Once Waimea established their links through court, they then looked as if they had come to play and had narrowed the deficit to 9–11 at the first break.
Prices coach Rebekah Shepard made five positional changes for the second quarter and, although the teams traded goals in the first couple of minutes, they struggled to match the college team through the mid court. Waimea went on to score five unanswered goals to take the lead, which they did not relinquish. Waimea were slick off the line with captain Kalyssa Rasmussen taking the majority of the centre passes, while Brooke Mathieson was an efficient second phase option. Waimea’s shooters were receiving stress-free ball from their feeders as Prices struggled to slow the ball through court. Waimea had a 20–18 advantage at the major break.
Chelsea Routhan returned to the court at centre to stabilize Price’s attack, and wing attack Mandy Whiting was steady. While Zar Fa’avae was expensive in the penalty count, she was a threat as a rebounder as she denied Waimea the second opportunity. Nicola Charles could be well pleased with her performance, she was an impressive link and displayed a good eye for the feed, even though she was guilty of a couple of optimistic feeds which went over the base line.
While Prices have played some enterprising netball throughout the season, I believe they would admit to being beaten by a better team on the day. Waimea’s shooters continued their work rate and accuracy at 83 per cent while Prices slipped. Prices rotated their bench with eleven changes, while Waimea introduced a new player for the final quarter for the 45–34 win.