Trophy back in Steel territory after defensive battle

Southern Steel’s Kate Heffernan commandeers the action during the ANZ Premiership netball match...
Southern Steel’s Kate Heffernan commandeers the action during the ANZ Premiership netball match at the Edgar Centre on Sunday. PHOTO: MICHAEL BRADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
The Georgina Salter Memorial Trophy is back in the South after the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel’s 47-43 victory over defending champions MG Northern Mystics during the ANZ Premiership round 7 on Sunday.

Southern Steel executed their game plan flawlessly, leading by three at halftime and extending their advantage to eight goals in the final quarter.

The trophy is in memory of former Silver Ferns player and Otago coach Georgina ‘Georgie’ Salter, who died at the age of 67 in 2018.

Southern Steel captain Kate Heffernan said the team was proud of winning the trophy, which honours Salter.

"For so many of our team, she was such a massive part of their netball journey, and it’s so cool to be able to get the Georgie Salter Memorial back in Dunedin."

The Steel’s defender Abby Lawson was awarded her first start of the season and delivered a Player of the Match performance.

She said it "means a lot" to win in the home game and winning the trophy was an "awesome bonus".

The Steel’s victory, their second of the season, was achieved despite the absence of key players Shannon Saunders and Ivari Christie.

Heffernan praised replacement wing attack Serina Daunakamakama, who made her debut, filling the void in the midcourt.

"We only had two trainings with her and we told her ‘just focus on your own job’ and as long as we each did ours, it would all come together despite the limited time we’ve had.

"It’s so cool to see that we did what we said we would."

The match was a defensive battle from the start, with both teams struggling to find attacking momentum.

The Mystics slotted five in a row in the last few moments of play, but the Steel’s resilience and effective team defence kept the Mystics at bay, with Heffernan and Grace Namana’s shooting accuracy proving decisive.