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Flames keep semifinal hopes alive

Flames keep semifinal hopes alive

The Ballantynes Canterbury Flames enhanced their chances of a semifinal spot with a well-constructed 45-36 win over the Southern Victorian Otago Rebels in a fourth-round National Bank Cup netball match in Dunedin today.

The Flames overcame a promising start by the young Rebels team with a strong second half performance where tight midcourt defence and shooting accuracy were prominent. In a turnaround from the first half, errors crept into the Rebels game and as their supply of ball dried up so too did the opportunities to score.

Captain Angela Mitchell led the Rebels charge in the first half with a high work rate and a good return under the shooting ring for the home team to hold a narrow 10-9 lead at the first break and 23-21 heading into halftime.

Co-captains Julie Seymour and Vilimaina Davu spearheaded the Flames fightback in the second half. The imposing figure of Silver Ferns goalkeeper Davu snuffed out many Rebel opportunities under the goal with a bevy of intercept and rebound ball while the evergreen Seymour showed her experience on attack and defence to control the midcourt.

At the shooting end, the experienced Sonia Butler and teenager Jade Topia made sure of their finishing to give the Flames a commanding advantage by fulltime after going into the threequarter break 33-28 ahead.

``This was a must-win game for us and I’m proud of the girls, they went out there and gave their best and it was good to come out with a win,’ Davu said.

Coach Janine Southby said a loss of confidence in the Rebels attack end had resulted in the team flow breaking down in the second half.

``We got a little bit sloppy with some of our passes, lost focus of what we had been doing really well and once they (Flames) got on a bit of a roll it was really hard to stop them,’ she said.


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