Competition is tight in the Collegiate 1 grade of Nelson Netball as, after four rounds, four teams – Nelson College for Girls 9A, Nayland 9A, Waimea 9A and Waimea 10C – were unbeaten and tied on 16 points.
The teams met at Saxton Courts on Saturday and while Nayland and Waimea 9A fought tooth and nail they could not be separated at the final whistle, when the score was 27 all.
It was a very different story game in the second game between Nelson 9A and Waimea 10C. Five unanswered goals by Nelson midway through the first quarter put the writing on the wall that they would be difficult to contain, and they went into the first break with a 9–4 advantage.
Waimea’s shooters Rose Miller and Emma Eggers were on target and had the perfect record of four from four, however they lacked opportunity as possession was often lost before the ball got to the offensive circle.
Nelson’s was an all round team effort, however goal attack Chloe Webb was definitely the star performer. She was quick off the line, was the dominant shooter (converting 21 from 26) and was the master of the double play in the circle for the closer shot. Not only did Chloe run the show in the shooting circle, she donned the GD bib for the final quarter and impressed with her defensive skills. While Waimea’s Rebekah Irvine had the inevitable task of marking Chloe, she could be well-pleased with efforts.
Nelson continued to build their tally while restricting Waimea to single figures in each of the four quarters. Nelson’s goal shoot Josie Ripley had a tidy game when she converted 18 from 21, however better angles would see more ball delivered to her by her feeders. Sarah Vuillermin was a revelation at wing defence when she was introduced at half time. She pressured every pass and was rewarded with five clean intercepts. Saphire Collins was diversity personified, as she wore three different bibs and gained numerous deflections.
With a convincing 44-19 victory, Nelson are now sitting at the top of the grade with 20 points, Nayland and Waimea are tied on 18.
What did impress me was young umpire Katelyn Gardiner, who finished playing for Nayland 9A only to pick up her whistle to umpire her peers. Katelyn did an excellent job.