Round four of the preliminary round of premiers and the games are becoming more evenly matched.
In particular in the game featuring fourth-ranked WGHS 1 v seventh-ranked Wahine Toa 2, the two teams appeared evenly matched for most of the game.
In the end WGHS 1 won 50 goals to 39.
For WGHS 1 Alicia Walker in the mid-court worked hard on attack, firstly at centre then at wing attack. In defence 14-year-old Jess Hita came on in the second half and she and Shannon George picked up turnover ball and put good pressure on the shooters.
In the shooting circle Manaaki Peri created space and shouldered most of the shooting load, slotting 84 per cent of her shots. For Wahine Toa 2, 15-year-old Sharleece Ross Hill again had a good shooting performance but it was the defence that was put through their paces with Jade Wheoki and Moana Witehira never giving up.
In another close game Active Refrigeration Fideliter 1 took until halftime to domuinate Manawanui 1. Fideliter 1 won 48 goals to 32.
Ajay Young in defence had another strong performance as did Lara Tipene at goal keep and then centre. Tricia Davis was best of the Fideliter shooters.
For Manawanui 1, the combination of Ravena Otene at goal keep and Judith Barber at goal defence was strong.
Tara Wells at wing attack worked hard and with enthusiasm. Goal shoot Ayla Aekins Rielly put away shots at crucial times and adjusted well to the many defensive changes.
The other two games were more predictable bigger scores with 2 v 6 and 3 v 8 playing off. In the first Semco Group Onerahi 1 led the whole way, however Wahine Toa 1 had a particularly strong third quarter when they moved Jaelyn Walker from defence to goal shooter.
For Onerahi 1 the shooting combination of Charlene Dephoff and Althena Birch showcased some entertaining netball and in the final quarter Jude Campbell also played well with some fast driving into the circle and some insightful feeding by Althena who had moved to wing attack.
The Onerahi defence rebounded well and brought the ball down the court with effect.
Several combinations were played during the game showing that this team has real depth. For Wahine Toa 1 Kahu Dick in the shooting circle was a workhorse ably assisted by Trudy Williams at centre.
Angelina Hamm at wing attack also fed the circle with precision. In defence Zara Pineaha managed intercepts and rebounds and captain and co-defender Sharayne Moir worked tirelessly. Onerahi 1 won 57 goals to 33.
In the other game Northland Coastal Development Whangaruru beat Semco Group Onerahi 2 59 goals to 31. For Whangaruru defenders Liahona Hebden and Reanon Hetaraka Sadler put pressure over the ball and were effective in shutting down the shooters. Jackie Herawini's experience in mid-court added to the overall defensive effectiveness. At the other end Sophie Tua showed leadership in getting the ball into the goal circle where that was capitalised into goals by Morgan Taurua, goal shooter. The standout player was Jamie Lee Tito at centre for three-quarters of the game. Semco Group Onerahi 2 had an excellent first quarter, keeping the score at 10-all, but then seemed to lose momentum. Sarah Nicholls at goal keep got some timely and clean intercepts against the experienced and accurate Whangaruru shooter.
WGHS 1 50 Wahine Toa 2 39
Semco Group Onerahi 1 57 Wahine Toa 1 33
Northland Coastal Development Whangaruru 59 Semco Group Onerahi 2 31
Active Refrigeration Fideliter 1 48 Manawanui 1 32.