This week saw the teams again play without any spectators under Covid-19 alert level 2 in the first week of a two-week finals format for the premier indoor netball competition and it did not disappoint.
The closest game was that between Nottingham Castle Rangers and University of Waikato Premier. There was really nothing between these two teams and each quarter was strongly contested with both teams competitive and wanting the win.
At the end of the first quarter Castle Rangers had a one-goal lead of 11 to 10. University Premier then won the second quarter to take the lead with the halftime score being 21 goals to 19.
Castle Rangers retaliated in the third quarter and managed to end the quarter just a goal behind at 30 goals to 29. The final quarter was goal for goal and a draw. University Premier took the win 37 goals to 36.
This means they will play in the final next week. For University Premier they knew it would be a tough game with both teams hungry for the win.
The momentum in the game swung and it could have gone either way. Captain Lyanne Eukaliti at goal keep came through with some crucial turnovers in the dying minutes and her efforts were bolstered by the return of Georgia Tong from her Waikato BOP Magic commitments.
Castle Rangers, given their performance this season, were gutted with the result, but it was a true semifinal with both teams determined to work and played with intensity; a game that deserved spectators.
For the team it was their best performance of the season with every player standing up, so a one goal loss is hard to take.
Verdettes Marist Old Girls vs FTNC Premier Reservee
The other close game was that between Verdettes Marist Old Girls and FTNC Premier Reserve. The first quarter was goal for goal with the score at the end of the first quarter tied at 14-all.
In the second quarter FTNC Premier Reserve edged ahead to lead by a goal with the score being 24 goals to 23.
They were able to strengthen this lead in the third quarter with the score being 37 goals to 33.
Verdettes Marist Old Girls made a bit of a comeback in the final quarter to bring the game to within two goals.
The final score was 48 goals to 46 and a good win to the FTNC Premier Reserve team.
FTNC Premier Reserve were focused on solidifying processes for success and competing against a reputable side like Marist Old Girls they were aware of the importance of capitalising on any bonus ball.
It was a solid team effort using the depth of skill of the entire team. Injecting Rasharn Neil in at wing defence in the second half provided strong direction and communication resulting in crucial turnover ball.
Verdettes Marist Old Girls had only two of the regular team there; the rest of the team was made up from the Saturday premier team.
So, it was great to give them an opportunity in the indoor league, many of them had not played at that level before.
So, a loss by two goals is promising for that team moving forward and hoping to get promoted next year.
St Peters Premier vs Allied HOB
St Peters Premier and Allied HOB Premier also had a close game. This was strongly contested from the first to the final whistle.
Allied HOB Premier had a narrow 2 goal lead at the end of the first quarter with the score 12 goals to 10.
The second quarter was goal for goal and a draw. The halftime score was 20 goals to 18.
St Peters, in the third quarter, clawed back a goal to be a goal adrift. The score was 34 goals to 33.
The final quarter was again close but Allied HOB Premier managed to pull ahead and won the game 43 goals to 40.
For HOB Allied Premier they were focused and determined to make every minute count to move into the top six in the competition.
Mid-court players Hylan Potts at wing attack and Leash Fielding at centre dominated. They worked hard to keep composure, to balance the court and to find space for their shooters.
Potts demonstrated her class with passes that continually found their mark, validating her recent selection into the Waikato BOP Beko team.
Lucy Ross at goal shoot had a high shooting percentage, making it difficult for the St Peter's youthful defenders.
Luana Wickliffe at goal defence and player/coach and mum to Mihirangi Wickliffe at goal shoot had an outstanding game showing that fitness, experience, and smart play are a formidable combination despite the pressure by the opposition.
St Peters Premier were disappointed with how they executed their game plan. They did not convert enough of their own centre passes and were not able to turn over enough ball defensively to surge ahead.
There were some good patches throughout the game but not enough consistency. Limited player availability due to illness did not help but it did give other players opportunities which was great for them to get back on court, and they stepped up nicely.
The lead did not change much throughout and the game was close for most quarters. The experience and composure of Allied favoured them in the last few minutes of the game.
FTNC Premier had a good win over Hamilton Girls High Langman Premier. This places FTNC Premier in the final next week. FTNC Premier started strong and led at the end of the first quarter by 13 goals to 6.
They were again strong in the second quarter with a healthy lead at halftime of 23 goals to 14.
The third quarter was much closer and more competitive and FTNC Premier were only able to increase their lead by 2. The score was 32 goals to 21.
The final quarter was also close, but the damage had been done in the first half. The final score4 was 44 goals to 30.
Waikato Diocesan Open A had a good win this week over University of Waikato Premier Reserve. This was a see-sawing kind of game with Waikato Diocesan Open A confident in the first quarter to lead by 13 goals to 3.
Then in the second quarter University Premier Reserve were strong and they won this quarter to bring the score to 16 goals to 11.
The third quarter was close, but Waikato Diocesan again increased their lead with the score being 26 goals to 17. The final quarter was goal for goal and a draw, so nothing in it.
Waikato Diocesan Open A won the game 36 goals to 27.
In the final game Iwi Karearea Premier were dominant in their game against Morrinsville Open A.
Iwi Karearea Premier led from start to finish but both the second and final quarters were close with the damage done in the first and third quarters.
The halftime score was 25 goals to 12 and the final score was 52 goals to 29.
Next week is the final, which will see FTNC Premier playing University of Waikato Premier.
Indoor Premier Results – Finals Week 1
• FTNC Premier 44 vs Hamilton Girls High Langman Premier 30
• Nottingham Castle Rangers 36 vs University of Waikato Premier 37
• Verdettes Marist Old Girls 46 vs FTNC Premier Reserve 48
• St Peters Premier 40 vs Allied HOB Premier 43
• Iwi Karearea Premier 52 vs Morrinsville Open A 29
• University of Waikato Premier Reserve 27 vs Waikato Diocesan Open A 36