The third week of the Trust Waikato Hamilton City premier netball competition saw a real nail biter between Iwi Karearea Premier and FTNC Premier Reserve with the final score with only one goal the difference.
This was a great game with Iwi Premier initially behind two goals at the end of the first quarter and then trailing by five goals at half time with the score being 23 goals to 18.
However, the third quarter was a game changer and at three-quarter time the scores were locked at 29 all after a huge effort by Iwi Premier. In the final quarter it really was goal for goal with Iwi Premier the eventual winners by 38 goals to 37.
For Iwi Premier they played a steady game in the first half. Then at half time Captain Ashley Tualaulelei's advice to the girls was to "go out and do your job well, trust in each other and let the ball go" – which the team accomplished.
The standouts were the awesome defensive unit with Nicola Ratima at goal keep showing brilliant form with an abundance of turnovers alongside Madaya Butler at goal defence who also had an outstanding game.
Acacia Thompson at wing defence created good opportunities for the defensive unit to get turnover ball by putting on great pressure outside the circle. For FTNC Premier Reserve it was a stronger start this week with better intensity.
Multiple turnovers were picked up by the defensive end especially by Te Aomihia Olliver-Samuels at goal keep who had a great game.
Unfortunately, in the second half errors crept in and the team were not able to fight off Iwi Premier's strong second half comeback. Overall a great game that could have gone either way.
University of Waikato Premier vs HGHS Langman
The other close game was that between University of Waikato Premier and Hamilton Girls High School Langman. It was a low scoring start by both teams with the score at the end of the first quarter 5 goals to 3 with University Premier with a narrow lead.
In the second quarter HGHS Langman were strong and dominant and they won this to lead at half time by 12 goals to 10.
The game then see-sawed again with University Premier ruthless in the third quarter to lead 22 goals to 15 at the break. University Premier continued this form and won the game by 31 goals 21.
For University Premier it was a low scoring and strongly contested game. All credit to their opposition who showed great athleticism and patience.
Finally, in the third quarter University Premier took control mainly thanks to continued full court defensive pressure.
The injection of Charlotte Pyke at goal attack and Ashley Maylor moving to goal shoot opened up the shooting circle with great effect.
It was great to see the team remain calm throughout and to stick to the game plan. For the young HGHS team they put up a good challenge in the first half of the game.
The defensive pairing of Veisinia Fakalelu and Liza Ball, both of whom played goal defence and goal keep, won some brilliant ball in what was largely a defensive game.
HGHS Langman showed patience on attack, with Marewa Samson at centre and wing defence and Teneia Erihana at goal attack and wing attack working tirelessly.
Ivari Christie was a standout performer at goal attack. However, the experience of University showed in the third quarter where the game was won.
Coach Kim Howard was pleased with the young team's performance as their objective is to be better than they were the week before and to continuously improve.
In the all school game between St Peters Premier and Waikato Diocesan Open A, St Peters showed their class winning all four quarters comprehensively. The half time score was 28 goals to 13 and the fulltime score was 61 goals to 25.
The second quarter was the most competitive with just three goals the difference, but Waikato Diocesan were not able to sustain this to remain in the hunt for the remainder of the game.
Verdettes Marist Old Girls had another confident win this week with a strong performance against University of Waikato Premier Reserve.
The half time score was 27 goals to 9 and the fulltime score was 58 goals to 18. Another solid performance by the experienced team.
FTNC Premier continued their winning streak with a win over Allied HOB Premier. Despite a reasonably close first quarter with only six goals the difference, by half time they had a strong lead of 33 goals to 14 and doubled this to win the game 67 goals to 25.
Nottingham Castle Rangers also continued their winning streak with a dominant game over Morrinsville College Open A.
Through a great defensive effort by Castle Rangers they were able to restrict Morrinsville College to very low scores with the half time score being 28 goals to 5 and the fulltime score being 61 goals to 10.
It was an outstanding second half for the Castle Rangers.
As the competition progresses the top teams will start to play each other as will the bottom teams and we should see some closer games overall.
Indoor Premier Results
• Verdettes Marist Old Girls 58 vs University of Waikato Premier Reserve 18
• Waikato Diocesan Open A 25 vs St Peters Premier 61
• Morrinsville Open A 10 vs Nottingham Castle Rangers 61
• Allied HOB Premier 25 vs FTNC Premier 67
• University of Waikato Premier 31 vs Hamilton Girls High School Langman 21
• Iwi Karearea Premier 38 vs FTNC Premier Reserve 37