Tapawera Nelson Honey left their best until last quarter on their way to a 31-27 win against a talented Motueka High School team in Nelson Netball’s Premier 2 game played at Saxton Stadium on Saturday.
The spoils were shared in the first round when they drew and early indications were that the accurate shooting of Dylan Sixtus was likely to pave the way for the college girls. Ebbs and flows were the order of the day in the first quarter as first Motueka and then Tapawera scored two sets of three successive goals.
Motueka lead 7 – 6 at the first break.
While Dylan had the perfect conversion rate with seven from seven, it was the Tapawera offence which began to grow in confidence. Wing attack Tania Simpson was rock steady, she did the work off the line, played good straight lines and was sharp on the quick release into her shooters.
Motueka went into the major break with a 21–14 advantage.
Tapawera’s circle defenders Anthea Shearer and Olivia Williams were a formidable duo. Anthea’s height proved to be an advantage for the tip ball, and great body positioning denied Motueka the second shot.
Tapawera narrowed the gap to 21–23 with a quarter remaining. Tapawera coach, Sandy Warnes made some positional changes for the final quarter with Anthea and Olivia swapping. Olivia provided a tighter defence on Dylan, so tight in fact that the talented player only attempted one goal in the final quarter.
Motueka was restricted to a just four goals while Tapawera were at their most potent in scoring 10 to take the victory.
While Tapawera’s win was the result of a team effort, goal shoot Tegan Cornell could be well pleased with her performance. She was more confident at range and rebounded strongly while the effervescent goal attack Emma Bannister chimed in with another solid showing. Jess Bird was bought back from the bench at wing defence and she was all the better for it as she hunted the ball and applied pressure on the outside of Motueka’s circle.