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Just like the finals


GAMES as thrilling as finals netball ended in wins for Whangara Old Girls and High School Old Girls at the YMCA last night.

Whangara nudged Gisborne Girls’ High Senior A 52-50.

The students trailed by one, 13-12, at the end of the first quarter but led 24-20 at halftime.

Whangara had a better third quarter and were up 38-35 going into the final period.

“It was an evenly contested game that could have gone either way,” netball commentator Sherrill Beale said.

“At times it went goal for goal with both sides showing determination, pressuring the ball carrier and collecting tips and intercepts.”

Beale said that in the second quarter the students’ defenders stepped up.

“Caitlin Bregman at goal keep, Gabby Wainohu, goal defence, and Caitlyn Huhu, wing defence, worked well together.

“Bregman, especially, was out hunting and collected several very good intercepts.”

At the other end, goal shoot Te Oriwa Tuipulotu played strongly.

“She directed play around the goal circle and finished off with some great shooting.”

Beale said that by halftime, Girls’ High were leading and looked confident.

“However, never underestimate Whangara,” she said.

“They made some changes and came out strongly in the third quarter.

“Tiara Weir at goal keep and Tania Hill at goal defence pressured the goal circle, while Bayleigh Harrison at wing defence helped to stop the students’ flow and the scoreline slowly turned around.”

Beale said the fourth quarter was exciting.

“Ninety seconds into it, the three-goal difference had gone and the scoreline was 38-all.

“Then the score see-sawed.

“After five minutes the students led 43-41, then after five more minutes Whangara had the lead 47-46.”

In the other match last night, Taste One High School Old Girls beat Claydens Waikohu (1) 49-46.

HSOG led 14-12 after 15 minutes, but Waikohu had jumped out to a 29-23 lead at halftime.

Then it was 38-all at three-quartertime.

“It was very competitive, with both teams having their chances to pull ahead, but their opponents pulled them back,” Beale said.

“The last quarter was intense and went virtually goal for goal.”

The midcourt had some competitive tussles, especially between centres Katie Kirkpatrick, of HSOG, and Marie Ruru, of Waikohu.

“They were speedy up and down the court for the whole game, driving to the goal circle and linking both ends.

“In the third quarter, HSOG goal keep Arna Mastrovich secured some crucial intercepts as Waikohu tried to lob the high ball into shooters Toni Rutene and Ariz Ruru.

“Those intercepts were converted into goals and helped HSOG turn the scoreline around.

“It was an exciting night — just like finals netball.”

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