Improving their warm-up routine will be a must for Otane as they prepare for next week's Shield final in Hawke's Bay's Premier Club Netball League.
"We were pretty lethargic in the first quarter and that was a result of our poor warm up. We have to step up our urgency going into the first quarter," Otane Force Thirsty Whale player-coach Tammy Kupa said after her team beat Central Sports Vet Services HB 54-31 in Taradale's Pettigrew-Green Arena last night. This secured Otane a berth in the final against All In Elusive.
New goal attack Ashley Collier combined well with goal shoot Ashlee Wilson in the attacking circle for Otane who trailed 11-9 after the first quarter and led 23-20 at halftime and 38-26 going into the final quarter.
Central co-captain and midcourter Anna Cudby said her team was happy with their first half but a poor third quarter again haunted them and is something they need to work on when they take on Outkast in the playoff for third next week.
Central wing attack Keryn Marshall enjoyed some dominant patches while goal shoot Nancy Rakete-Stones sank 16 of her 21 attempts for a 76 per cent success rate.
Anna Parsons was again tireless during her stints in both positions in the defensive circle.
Central will take on Outkast Optimise Physio in next week's playoff for third after Outkast, the defending champions for the league's premier title, returned to the winning path with a 42-27 win against newcomers HHSOG Spicers Keas. Outkast led Keas 10-6 after the first quarter, 18-11 at halftime and 32-15 after the final quarter.
Outkast manager Lauren Marsh said her team produced a better effort after last week's loss to All In and the most pleasing aspect was the fact the momentum continued when changes were made. Fourteen-year-old centre Shyan Murphy was again lively while goal defence Amanda Palmer and wing defence Julie Varcoe were both full of authority.
Goal shoot Corra Quinn had an 84 per cent success rate with 21 from 25. Keas finished the game with a 61 per cent success rate and their main shooter Jaicee Reed sunk 18 of her 28 attempts for a percentage of 64.
Keas will take on NGHS in next week's playoff for fifth.
Havelock North House of Kauri Travel will take on Hastings Girls' High School Senior A in next week's crossovers and the loser will play in the promotion-relegation match the following week. Kauri lost 49-42 to Napier Girls' High School Senior A last night.
"It was a bit patchy from us ... heart attack material but we cemented our place in the Super 8," NGHS coach Annemarie Kupa said. "We had so much ball but we struggled to get it into the attacking circle. So our win in the game we were targeting can be attributed to the good work of our defensive trio," she added referring to the defensive circle pair of Valentine Kahukura and Jaimee Tapine and wing defence Ashleigh Poi who is normally a wing attack.
Kauri coach Angela Harvey was happy with the competitiveness of her troops and said they have improved each week.
"Hopefully we're saving our best for last in this round and will get a win against Hastings Girls.
Her goal keep, Susan Benge, won Kauri's player-of-the-match award.
Substitute goal attack Michelle Bazalo impressed during the final three quarters and combined well with experienced goal shoot Tania Laking.
NGHS led 26-20 at halftime and 37-30 going into the final quarter. Hawke's Bay under-15 goal shoot Janaya Preece finished with 37 successes from 45 attempts for NGHS, an 82 per cent success rate.
The other early encounter saw All In Elusive secure their berth in the Shield Round final with a 49-36 victory over Hastings Girls' High School Senior A. All In coach Charissa Barham said a dominant first quarter was the key to the win.
"It was important for us to try different combinations and patterns at this stage of the season and we did that. Promising 18-year-old goal attack Jade Kupa impressed during her 30 minutes while midcourters Tia Lewis, Angela Stubbs and Candis Timms were classy.
All In goal shoot Imke Kitchin sank 36 of her 38 attempts for a 94 per cent success rate during her three quarters of action.
HGHS coach Amanda Petera said she was confident her troops would beat Kauri next week as they will be back to full strength.
Wing defence Summer Rose Taylor and 15-year-old goal shoot Matariki Manaena were the pick of Petera's troops.
All In were 23-16 ahead of HGHS at halftime and 41-28 ahead after the third quarter.