School proves worthy of place

Southern Magpies goal shoot Hannah Riddle-Pelchen, watched by team-mate Sara McCarthy, prepares...
Southern Magpies goal shoot Hannah Riddle-Pelchen, watched by team-mate Sara McCarthy, prepares to take a shot at goal during their opening round two game in Dunedin premier club netball against Otago Girls’ High School at the Edgar Centre on Saturday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Otago Girls’ debut in Dunedin’s premier grade against the Southern Magpies started off promisingly but in the end the side was taught a lesson by Southern, which prevailed 67-50 on Saturday.

Otago Girls’ held its own first up against its more experienced opponents, getting the first break on centre pass, but turned it over, so there was no scoreboard advantage.

In the first quarter there were only a couple goals in the contest, and the high school side showed it was deserving of its place in the top grade.

Both sets of shooting pairs returned high percentages and the defence was clean. All in all, it was a very good game in the first quarter, which ended with Southern ahead 18-15.

Otago Girls’ goal attack Charlotte Underwood-Nicol went off with a leg injury at quarter time and was replaced by Praise Hola.

The Magpies started the second half well, maintaining a decent goal cushion which extended up to seven, but was reduced to three approaching halftime.

The Magpies led 32-27 at halftime.

Underwood-Nicol returned for the third quarter and there were a couple positional changes in the midcourt for Otago Girls’.

The third quarter was the game-breaker, as the Southern shooting circle shot at 84% to Otago Girls at 57%.

The schoolgirls were not looking as sharp as they were at the beginning of the game, as fatigue set in, and their rivals pushed out to a

53-37 lead at three-quarter time.

The last quarter was scrappy, having plenty of turnovers and rebounds. Both sides lacked some cohesion entering the final stages of play.

Ultimately, the Magpies were too good, running out winners 67-50.

Magpies goal shoot Hannah Riddle-Pelchen shot 51 goals from 64 attempts at just under an 80% success rate.

Otago Girls’ fell away in the second half, especially the third quarter, which ultimately proved the difference in the match result.

In the other games of the round, in a showdown between Physed A and C squads, C came away with a 54-48 win.

Markham College defeated South Pac A 60- 51.

Physed B was taken all the way by St Hilda’s but held on with a 54-50 win.

 - Jack Ward

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