Newcomers All In had tongues wagging after last night's fourth round in Hawke's Bay's Super 6 premier club netball competition at Taradale's Pettigrew-Green Arena.
After trailing by 10 goals, All In fought their way back to snatch a 41-all draw with Plus Rehab Hastings High School Old Girls Huias courtesy of a long shot from goal shoot Pania Rowe with six seconds remaining in the thriller.
"I couldn't be happier with what we've achieved this season. Last year we were a Saturday grade team and so far in the Super 6 we have recorded two wins, a draw and a loss which was against Otane," an elated All In player-coach Candis Timms explained.
"Yes, we made a slow start but then our defence started to win us a lot of turnover ball. Our goal defence Brona Turley and goal keep Nina Pineaha were particularly strong," Timms said.
Rowe was full of authority in the attacking circle. Wing defence Charlotte Wilkins was impressive for Huias when they brought the ball through the court.
"All In wanted it more than us. Otane will be a good measure as to how well we can bounce back," Huias coach Kaylene Higgs said.
Napier Girls High School recorded their first win with a 46-37 victory against last year's runners-up MAC Blue. NGHS coach Vicky Lassen said the return from international duty of their goal attack Kimiora Poi and goal shoot Kelsey McPhee proved to be a major boost for the team.
Poi played for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team and McPhee for the Aotearoa Maori side at the transtasman under-19 tournament which finished in Rotorua the previous night. While this pair were classy Lassen said her defensive circle players were equally as admirable.
"They shut down Cheleme [MAC Blue player-coach and goal attack Smiler-Ah Kiong] for long periods and that isn't an easy feat," she said referring to Jaydi Taylor-Chaffey, Demi Forshaw and Emma McLelland.
MAC Blue manager Brenda Wainohu reckoned her troops got a raw deal from umpires Tony Gardiner and Natalie Corbett.
"They upset our flow which was disheartening but this has been going on against MAC for years," Wainohu said.
"We started coming back when the game was more open towards the end," she added.
Taylor Greening, who had stints at goal defence and wing defence, was again prominent for MAC Blue. She travels from Hamilton each week to play for the side.
Unbeaten defending champions, The Thirsty Whale Otane Force, again proved how hard they will be to dethrone with a 75-26 walloping of a below-strength Hastings Girls' High School team. Force player-coach Annemarie Kupa-Petera, knowing her opponents were missing some key players with age group commitments, used the game to give some of her second stringers game time.
One of them, goal attack Ella Petersen, shone during her 30 minutes of action. Treyanna Faulkner impressed in both the goal attack and wing attack positions while regular defender Rhiarna Ferris was constructive at centre.
"Rhiarna is training with the Pulse and we feel she could make it at that level as a midcourter," Kupa-Petera added.