Netball season finishes with Prices on top

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1987

Nelson Netball’s 2015 season came to a close on Saturday with finals for all grades. With many of the games going right to the wire there were very small margins in the majority of the games.

In the Premier 1 final, early predictions had Jacks OPD as a pre-game favourite after their clinical display against Richmond Glass in last week’s semi-final.   However, the slate is wiped clean and anything can happen in a final.

Prices Pharmacy A took “the hard road” to the final by defeating Stoke NBS 55-54 last Saturday, they then accounted for Richmond Glass 45-44 in the major semi-final to book they place in the elite grade’s final.

On paper, Jacks had an accurate offensive line and talented mid court with speed to burn, while Prices defensive line could be considered the best in the competition.

Jacks went out to an early 7-2 lead and it looked as if they were in control, however Prices settled and began to play as a well-oiled machine.

The Prices line-up displayed patience from the onset, their middies played a short game which did not allow Jacks the usual opportunities for intercept ball through court.

Prices Dana Wilson was in sublime form at centre (and WA in the third quarter) as she delivered beautiful feeds into her shooter, Shar Lowe. Dana’s precision feeds were match-winning – she delivered ball from range and from the circle edge. She was every shooter’s dream deliverer as she constantly provided Shar in particular with some great feeds on the base.

In her MVP performance Shar was also in great form, not only did she convert 41 from 52, she shouldered a hefty workload outside the circle.  She was prepared to leave the circle to “mix it up” for Jacks defence and she found great body position to rebound and gain a second opportunity.

Jacks Leanne Cook converted on the buzzer to give her team a 14 – 13 advantage at quarter time.  Prices returned to the court hungry and scored three unanswered goals to take the lead. The teams traded goals and a run of three each and could not be separated at the major break.

Jodi Hikuroa-Jeffrey was introduced at centre for Jacks and her presence lifted the green team to score five unanswered goals and many would have thought “here come Jacks”. With a quarter remaining, Jacks had a 40-37 lead.

Prices continued with their team effort – pressuring every ball, particularly in the defensive third and treasured the possession of turnover ball. While Jacks were scoring in ones Prices were scoring in threes, until they took the final quarter 16-11 and the championship 53-50.

Jacks’ goal attack Leanne Cook did all that was asked of her, both through the court and in the shooting circle, while wing defence Ella Marwick nabbed a few impressive intercepts. Circle defenders Louise Monge Grassi and Anna Miles toiled throughout, however they had their work cut out trying to contain Shar and Mahina Selby-Law.

While Jacks would have been disappointed with their loss, I believe they would know they were beaten by the better team on the day.