Huanui College Silver have clinched a spot in the championship round in the premier grade after winning their promotion/relegation match.

The mid-season promotion/relegation round took place over the weekend, giving the top-ranked teams in each grade the opportunity to challenge for promotion by playing the bottom-ranked side in the grade above.

Surprise winner of the premier reserve grade, Huanui College Silver, faced off against Whangaruru 1 at Kensington Stadium.

In what was generally a slow game, both teams started cautiously, waiting to capitalise on mistakes from the opposition.


Huanui were the first to take their opportunities and took a narrow one-goal lead into the quarter break and by halftime had extended the buffer to five.

Emerina Marsh-Kiro at goal attack for Huanui showed good court awareness, moving well in the circle to position herself for the feed around what was tight Whangaruru defence.

Whangaruru were only able to break the first Huanui pass of the third quarter, and after that both teams scored from their own pass.

They were unable to turnover any further possession, giving Huanui the win.

For Huanui, who were well supported on Friday night, it added to an already high-achieving season.

They started the season in the College A1 grade, were promoted to and won the premier reserve division, and are now continuing to the championship round in the premier grade.

It is the first time since the introduction of the premier grade in the 1980s that two college teams have featured in this grade, which shows that the future of Whangarei netball is full of talent.

At the other end of the premier reserve grade, Bridgestone Marist 1 held off a determined and feisty Whangaruru 2 side who werechasing promotion.

In the closely contested match Marist eventually came away victorious with a 40-36 scoreline and will retain their premier reserve position.

Meanwhile, Whangarei Girls' High School Senior 2 saw off the young WGHS Year 10/1 side 33-26 in a see-sawing and exciting match to also avoid relegation from the premier reserve grade to the college section of the competition.

The senior school side seemed nervous for most of the match and didn't seize control until the final quarter.

The championship round will begin next weekend.


* Huanui College Silver 34 Whangaruru 1 29

* Marist 1 40 Whangaruru 2 36

* WGHS Senior 2 33 WGHS Year 10/1 26