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Saints and University of Canterbury will battle it out on Tuesday for the opportunity to dethrone reigning Christchurch premier netball champion Lincoln University.
The sudden death semi-final next week will highlight the first phase of the post-season in the top tier, with Lincoln University already through to the decider, despite a final round loss to Kereru A.
Saints have earned bragging rights heading into the clash with second-ranked UC after beating them 60-50 last Tuesday, a result that saw Kereru A eliminated from semi-final contention despite a 45-42 win to upset the title favourites.
Shooter Jess Prosser dominated as Saints took charge early and they maintained that momentum throughout the contest while on the adjacent court Kereru A pushed hard to extend their season.
However, despite a worthy three-goal triumph they missed the semi-final by a point because UC accrued more bonus points through winning quarters during games.
In the other Premier 1 encounter, Technical A and Kia Toa played out a low scoring, hard fought affair before the former prevailed 37-34.
In the Premier 2 division, unbeaten St Nicholas are through to the final, where they will play Kereru B or St Margaret’s College.
St Nicholas beat Kereru B 50-46, while St Margaret’s kept their title hopes alive by pipping St Andrew’s College 43-42 in a cliffhanger.
There were several lead changes in the final 15-minute quarter before the hosts nailed the decisive goal.
- Premier 1 - Saints A v UC A, 7pm Bishopdale (Automatic Qualifiers, Lincoln University).
- Premier 2 - Kereru B v St Margaret's A, 7pm Bishopdale (Automatic Qualifiers, St Nicholas).
Premier 1 statistics:
- Kereru A 45 (S Adams 22/28, J Naoupu 23/27) def Lincoln University 42 (K Grant 26/35, T Placid 16/21). Qtrs: 8-12, 21-21, 32-33, 45-42.
- Saints 60 (J Prosser 47/59, G Etheredge 13/18) def UC 50 (M Hill 34/49, T Aiono 16/20). Qtrs: 18-11, 32-23, 44-36, 60-50.
- Technical A 37 (L Pale 4/9, K Ralph 19/27, J Allan 14/20) def Kia Toa 34 (O McIntyre 29/43, M Ruki 5/9). Qtrs: 6-11, 17-18, 26-26, 37-34.
Premier 2 statistics:
- St Nicholas 50 (N Miekle 18/24, G Nicholls 32/37) def Kereru B 46 (C Kennedy 42, F Sutherland 4/5, K Howden 0/1). Qtrs: 15-14, 27-26, 40-33, 50-46.
- St Margaret's 43 (T Hassan 31/34, I Brown 12/14) def St Andrews 42 (I Galvan 7, A Guard 9, K Williams 26). Qtrs: 14-8, 24-20, 35-34, 43-42.
- Technical B 44 (C Quinn 25/33, C Corbett 24/30, C Campbell 3/5) def CGHS A 41 (M Smith 27/33, E Croft 11/15, M Keenan 3). Qtrs:17-8, 25-22, 36-33, 44-41.
- St Margaret's 71 (T Hassan 49/52, I Brown 22/26, J Marshall 0/2) def Technical B 38 (C Quinn 2/4, C Corbett 10/15, C Campbell 14/25, M Hosking-Marino 12/15). Qtrs: 21-5, 34-14, 55-26, 71-38.