Jacks OPD celebrate winning the Nelson Netball premier grade final on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Drummond’s decision vindicated with title

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Losing, for Jess Drummond, would have been unbearable.

Not only would there have been the pain of losing a premier club netball final, but that she also missed out on the Tasman women’s debut game in the Farah Palmer Cup.

“So it’s a good thing we won,” she grinned as Jacks OPD claimed its first premier club netball championship in four years.

Jess, a member of the New Zealand womens 7s team would have been a sure starter for the Makos as it played its inaugural match in the Farah Palmer Cup campaign, which kicked off in Blenheim just hours before the netball final.

Jess says it was a tough decision as she would have loved to have played for Tasman, but it was a final and she had committed to Jacks first.

As it turned out, Jess played another superb game at centre as Jacks ran away with the title over the defending champion Prices Pharmacy A.

After falling behind in the first quarter, Jacks managed to stay with Prices throughout the first half, to be down 25-22 at half time.

But it was in the third quarter that Jacks started to turn up the heat, firing into the lead within minutes of the quarter commencing.

Prices held their nerve and stayed with the resurgent Jacks, which held a slender one point lead heading into the final quarter.

But that’s when Jacks struck.

Jacks goal keep Jordan Webby grabbed several key intercepts, while at the other end goal shoot Ari Waitai was in typically superb form, helping to grow the Jacks lead by an extra 12 points in that final quarter.

In the end Jacks blew Prices away to win 55-42.

Jacks coach Robyn Leonard says she was delighted with the performance of her side.

“It was really good, really good. I’m very pleased. We always knew that it would be quite tight and it was for most of it. But in the final quarter the girls did what they needed to do.”

She says that included playing smart netball.

“We used our brains, when we needed to get it go we did, we had back up on the lines, the girls were winning ball, it was great because it was a very classy Prices side we played.”

Prices coach Mandy Whiting says her side just couldn’t stop Jacks in that final quarter.

“They played really well, they just got on a run, they had all the momentum and we just couldn’t stop them. That’s life, there has to be a winner and a loser and today we were the losers. But I’m very proud of the girls, they did their best and at the end of it all we were fighting for the title, it’s where you want to be at this part of the season.”