Masters hat trick

By Iain Hyndman

BLONDE ON BLONDE: Cara Blake (blue) from team Whatever and Jacinda Souness from the gold-medal-winning Western Stars battle it out mid-court in yesterday's mixed netball action.
BLONDE ON BLONDE: Cara Blake (blue) from team Whatever and Jacinda Souness from the gold-medal-winning Western Stars battle it out mid-court in yesterday's mixed netball action.

The Western Stars scored a hat trick yesterday after winning gold at the NZ Masters Games indoor mixed netball at Springvale Stadium.

The netball is yet another NZMG sport battling dwindling numbers, although there was just one team less than 2015 registered this year - three in the mixed indoor competition and five in the women's and mixed outdoor tournament kicking off at Laird Park on Friday.

The Western Stars met It's Just Us in the final yesterday afternoon after dismissing Whatever in the morning session.

Indoor mixed netball was introduced to the NZMG itiniary in 2011 when the nucleus of
The Western Stars line-up claimed gold under a different name. In 2013 The Western Stars bagged their first gold under the moniker it carries today and repeated the dose in 2015.

The winning side convincingly beat Whatever in the morning, but began the final against It's Just Us in a far closer battle.

It was only 17-15 to The Western Stars after the first 10-minute quarter, but finally drew out to a comfortable 47-39 win at the final hooter.

Tournament organiser Julie Linklater said all three teams were from Whanganui and were regulars in the Monday and Tuesday night mixed netball tournament throughout the season.

"They pretty much all know each other, although that season finished in November last year, so they've not had much game time before the Masters," Linklater said.

"Every year we have the Monday-Tuesday night mixed evenings and then on a Wednesday night we have women only and it's extremely popular."

The outdoor women's serious and social age group competition begins at 9am on Friday and runs through until Sunday.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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