Tue, Aug 2, 2022 10:56 PM
Pelorus and Harlequins got off to a winning start when the fourth and final round of premier netball was played at Stadium 2000 tonight.
With competition points at stake in this round, leading into semifinals, the intensity levels went up a notch.
In the evening’s early game Pelorus, who won round two - the only other round with points at stake – took care of Tokomaru 61-46, while the Quins accounted for Marlborough Girls’ College in a more evenly-contested match, prevailing 55-49.
Pelorus were not at their best in the evening’s first encounter, taking time to find their rhythm. Toko matched them for most of the first quarter before a late surge from Pelorus, with GA Paige Lovell finding her range under the hoop and Mara McCurdy picking off any loose passes in defence, saw the ladies in blue stretch out to a 17-12 advantage at the first break.
As Toko beginning to close the gap an unfortunate knee injury to pivotal centre Hana Wilson saw her leave the game, necessitating a reshuffle in Toko’s line-up and allowing Pelorus to pull away to a 13-goal advantage at halftime.
However, Toko showed their resilience, regrouping to take the third quarter 15-14 on the back of some slick circle work by attacking player Gemma Hika and Jade Shallcrass, plus defensive energy for Hannah Dickson and Chloe Devir.
The final quarter was also tight, possession being shared, with defensive kingpins Danielle Moffatt and Jordan Peipi bringing their experience to the fore.
The later match was considerable tighter, Harlequins being pushed all the way as they eked out a six-goal victory.
Central to their success was their ability to call on a deep pool of experience when under pressure. Centre Bridget Gane, WA Simone Pedersen, WD Lauren Murray, who excelled in an unfamiliar position, plus resolute circle defenders Olivia Robinson and Mackenzie Baird stood up as the game went down to the wire, exerting enough pressure on their younger rivals to force costly errors.
At halftime the scores were locked 24-24, with MGC enjoying slightly more possession. However, shooters Wiri Bristowe and Kelsee Hamilton made the most of their attempts to keep Quins in touch.
Once again Fiaalii Solomona was hugely influential under the offensive hoop for the students, her rebounding a highlight.
Wing attack Stormy Tupara, plus circle defenders Mya Wiapo and Holly Feltham also caught the eye with some inspired play at times.
Pelorus Edridge Contracting 61 (Paige Lovell 41/57; Liv Pinkerton 18/23; Cara Wiapo 2/2) Tokomaru Crafar Crouch 46 (Gemma Hika 32/39; Jade Shallcrass 7/12; Kayla Wilson 7/10). Quarter scores (winning team first): 17-12, 15-7, 14-15, 15-12.
Harlequins New World 55 (Wiri Bristowe 32/43; Kelsee Hamilton 23/32) Marlborough Girls’ College King Salmon 49 (Fiaalii Solomona 39/51; Zoe Scaife 10/22). Quarter scores (winning team first): 13-12, 11-12, 17-13, 14-12.
Pelorus 3, Harlequins 3, Marlborough Girls’ College 0, Tokomaru 0.