All In enhanced their favourite's tag status in Hawke's Bay Netball's men's league with a 41-35 win against Te Wairoa in Taradale's Pettigrew-Green Arena on Sunday.
It was All In's second consecutive win in as many rounds and as the score suggests it was a real ding-gong battle. Their shooting combination's superior success rate proved the difference between the two teams.
Arama Jackson and George Watson played the full 60 minutes and shared the load with 21 and 20 goals respectively. While the Te Wairoa shooting team had 10 more attempts than their opponents they could only convert 58 per cent of them.
All In led 11-10 after an intense first quarter. Te Wairoa changed tactics in the second quarter and tried to get the ball to their goal attack Tauru Cotter who scored all eight of their goals in the quarter but this wasn't enough to compete with All In's joint return of 11.
In the third quarter Te Wairoa's game plan was showing signs of fruition and during the last five minutes they scored four unanswered goals. However All In finished the quarter with a two-goal advantage.
Fierce defence from both teams was a feature of the final quarter but All In's superior composure under pressure gave them the edge.
The other match was a one-sided affair and saw Toki Toa thrash the newly formed Hawke's Bay Tane outfit 70-16. While Hawke's Bay Toa competed well in the first quarter the green blur of Toki as they moved the ball down court at pace impressed the fans.
Toki proved they could be a threat to All In this Sunday when they restricted Tane to two goals in the second quarter. Tane continued to struggle in the third quarter.
The introduction of Tafiti Utumapu increased the pressure on Toki goal shooter, Jason Morton, who's return of 15 goals in the first quarter was only one shy of HB Tāne's success through the hoop all game. Any well won defensive balls were coming back again quickly as Toki's midcourters worked tirelessly all game to turn over possession. The Manaena brothers outplayed their Tane midcourt counterparts.
Both teams tried different combinations in the second half but Toki Mana displayed no signs of letting up as they romped away to victory. Tane will have to improve if they are going to compete with Te Wairoa this weekend.