Tue, May 7, 2024 10:38 PM

MGC netballers spring into premier action


Peter Jones

All five premier netball teams have tasted action this season after the second round of grading play at Stadium 2000 tonight.

The Marlborough Girls’ College Liquid Action side entered the fray tonight, after a first round bye, and put up a solid performance against playing-through champions Pelorus Edridge Contracting.

Although Pelorus came away with a 76-53 victory the students showed enough potential to promise better things this season. They introduced several players new to premier level, and none looked out of place.

Sophia Nicholas, who fitted in well at GA and centre, wing attack Elizabeth Bowron, defenders Violet Speakman and Sophia Saggers, plus middie Bree Flynn brought enthusiasm and energy to the mix, underlining their premier potential.

The calming influence of captain Izzy Tupouto’a in defence, along with the shooting prowess of Anel Moli and Hazel Glover provided a solid base.

Although comfortably beaten, the fact MGC were able to drop in 53 goals against a proven defence was a big positive.

MGC wing attack Elizabeth Bowron drives down court.

Pelorus started slowly, leading by just seven at halftime, but finished strongly, Paige Lovell putting on a long-shooting clinic in the attacking circle. Her partnership with the experienced Cara Gallop clicked from the outset.

Kelly West, Oriana Houra and Ella Smith anchored a resilient defence.

The evening’s early game was a Harlequins derby clash, the favoured Totalspan side downing clubmates Fairweathers 55-29 in a scrappy encounter.

Simone Pedersen made her 2024 debut in midcourt and GA for Totalspan and impressed immediately, along with the combination of sisters Olivia and Sophie Robinson, plus their aunt, Bridget Gane, who took a rare breather in the final quarter, allowing new recruit Delyth James-Sitters to claim the centre bib.

A feature of the match was the battle under the hoop between Wiri Bristowe, goal shoot for Totalspan, and youngster Aston Underwood, in the Fairweathers defence. Both players thrive on aerial play and each enjoyed moments of ascendancy.

Totalspan enjoyed a blazing start, racing to a 17-6 lead after 15 minutes, but their rivals came back into proceedings over the next two quarters, with Jorja Bacchus a reliable figure under the hoop.

Both sides enjoyed moments of co-ordination and attacking rhythm but still have some off-season rust to remove.

Pelorus player Kelsie Fitzpatrick feeds into the circle. 

Netball scores from May 7:

Harlequins Totalspan 55 (Wiri Bristowe 35/47, Simone Pedersen 8/13, Lauren Murray 12/26) Harlequins Fairweathers 29 (Kayla Collins 6/9, Jorja Bacchus 15/17, Ramona Waikato 8/11). Quarter scores (winning team first): 17-6, 15-7, 9-10, 14-6.

Pelorus Edridge Contracting 76 (Paige Lovell 67/77, Cara Gallop 9/15) Marlborough Girls’ College Liquid Action 53 (Anel Moli 30/38, Hazel Glover 20/25, Sophia Nicholas 3/7). Quarter scores: 18-11, 16-16, 21-13, 21-13.

Next Tuesday Tokomaru return to action, taking on MGC, while HQ Totalspan meet Pelorus in a 2023 final replay.

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