Napier Girls' High School Senior A lent credence to the tenet that those who stay together eventually go on to claim the spoils as a unit after winning the shield final of the premier Hawke's Bay club netball competition last night.
The Anne Marie Kupa-coached NGHS beat defending champions Otane Force Thirsty Whale 51-45 in the four-round crossover stage of the Super 8 competition in Napier.
The schoolgirls led 14-10 in the first quarter, extended the lead to 36-24 at halftime and maintained it to 46-32 in the third spell.
"Isn't that awesome for a high school team?" said Kupa in her third year last night.
Apart from losing New Zealand Secondary representative Jaydi Taylor-Chaffey, NGHS had retained their core of players and had talent to fill the vacuum the defender had left.
The NGHS coach singled out midcourters Ashleigh Poi and Parris Petera for stoking the fire in the engine room.
"Our little goal attack, Janayah Lewis, is so lovely and strong."
Defenders Valentine Kahukura and Jaimee Tapine reflected the team's ability to look after the ball.
Otane player/coach Tammy Kupa was reluctant to take the gloss off the teenagers' victory but felt her troops made a rash of errors.
"We had poor selection of passing and we weren't making ourselves available to the ball," said Tammy, who is Kupa's sister. "I don't want to take anything away from Napier Girls' who put the pressure on us but we did do a lot of dumb stuff."
She revealed Otane had lost all bar three players, including one who was pregnant, from last season and were trying to fine-tune their game, "so to even make the first-half final [shield] was a goal for us so the girls have done a really good job".
Kupa named newcomer Sharleigha Thompson-Dunn her player of the match as wing attack.
It was, she felt, a time for them to reflect and would take it as an early wake-up call on what to tweak.
In the 3rd/4th playoffs, Optimise Physio Outkast Sports beat All In Tremains Elusive 46-32 after leading in every quarter.
Central Sports Netball Club Vet Services pipped Hastings High School Old Girls Proactive Huias 47-45 for 5th/6th, while Hastings Girls High School Senior A will go to promotion/relegation after losing 55-38 to All In Tremains Evasive in the 7th/8th playoffs.