Emphatic first win for college side

St Kevin’s College player Emma Gillies in action earlier this season. PHOTO: NIC DUFF
St Kevin’s College player Emma Gillies in action earlier this season. PHOTO: NIC DUFF
Netballers had to deal with wet conditions last weekend but with the semifinals drawing nearer, the North Otago premier A competition weathered on.

St Kevin’s College nailed its first win of the season over Old Boys in emphatic fashion.

The 58-8 win was the biggest winning margin this season and has lifted the school side off the bottom of the ladder and into sixth place.

They jumped out to an early lead and then really put the foot down in the second quarter.

The second half was much of the same as they ran away with the game.

Shooters Gracey Clunie and Hannah Fowler were phenomenal in the circle and Allie Laughton worked hard on the defensive end.

Finally getting over the hump and securing their first win was great to see, especially in the wet, St Kevin’s coach Rachel Fowler said.

"We’ve struggled so far this season so it was really good to have a really convincing win.

"It was a real team effort."

Adapting to the wet conditions was not easy but her team did it well — "playing the ball short, keeping it off the ground, keeping it flat".

Fowler also enjoyed seeing the team continue to play well, even with a large lead.

"They kept pushing on. I just gave them targets every quarter and we met those."

Valley Koru has one foot in the door in the fight to get to the semifinals, following its hard-fought 37-32 win over Waitaki Girls’ High School Lightning Strike.

Valley Koru jumped out to an early 12-6 lead in the first quarter and despite a valiant effort from the high school side, never gave up that lead.

Izzy Hurst was solid on defence while Nelle Loper and Morgan Kinzett stood out in the midcourt.

Maheno and Valley Karaka remain the standard for the competition as both secured their sixth wins on the bounce.

A big first quarter from the green machine, especially at the defensive end, gave Maheno an early seven-point lead.

Athletic looked more settled in the second quarter, but Maheno showed its class in the second half to comfortably take the win 31-17.

Valley Karaka flexed its muscles in a dominant 56-21 win over Wildfire and built a hefty 24-point lead by halftime, before Wildfire rallied to win the third quarter.

But, Karaka pulled away again in the fourth to walk away with a big win.

Their defence forced plenty of turnovers and shooters Emma Fox and Brytnee Firman made Wildfire pay.

Tomorrow is the final round of games before the competition splits into top four and bottom four.

Karaka and Maheno are confirmed to be in the top two spots as they both remain undefeated.

They will face off in a rematch of last year’s final tomorrow.

Below those two, Koru sit in third on 16 points, with Athletic and Wildfire tied on 12.

Athletic play Koru and need a win to confirm their spot as Wildfire could jump ahead of them, if the high school team has a strong performance against Old Boys.

Playing for pride, St Kevin’s face Waitaki’s Lightning Strike in a game where both teams are guaranteed to be in the bottom four regardless of the result.

That should not stop the game being a highly contested battle between the two school sides.