Lion Foundation Netball Champs - Day Two Overview
Lion Foundation Netball Champs - Day Two
1 October 2013
Defending champions Otago A have been defeated in Pool Play at the Lion Foundation Netball Champs in Dunedin, by an impressive Christchurch side determined to engrave their name on the New Zealand Cup for 2013.
Otago A found themselves playing catch-up for the entire match as the slick Christchurch outfit led by the formidable Maree Bowden, extended out to a 12 goal lead at halftime.
Christchurch’s defensive end snapped up any inaccurate Otago passes and duly converted at the other end by talented shooters Ellen Halpenny and Julianna Naoupu who replaced Liz Hayman at the opening break.
With most of the other ten tournament teams watching on from the stands, Otago tried everything to claw their way back and put Christchurch under pressure. A late burst at the end of the third quarter narrowed the lead to nine and with a supportive, vocal crowd urging the home side on in the final stanza, Otago left everything on the court coming to within five goals.
But despite considerable effort, Christchurch was always in control of this one and are now the only team in Pool A to remain unbeaten, running out winners 66-52.
And Auckland are on track to secure a Semi-Finals berth at the Championships with a 100% winning record after two days of competition in Dunedin.
Playing in Pool B, Auckland are leading Pool B on points only unbeaten team on that side of the draw with two comprehensive wins over Waitakere and Manawatu. Their closest encounter was a nail-biter against Hamilton on Monday evening, a game which see-sawed between the teams with Auckland pushing ahead in the final five minutes of the match for a 54-49 point win.
Auckland coach Natalie Milicich says she’s pleased with the way the team is tracking.
”It was good to see us come through on that Hamilton match because we actually got down in the game and it nice to see us fight and dig deep and make sure we kept our composure.”
Three other Netball Northern netball centre teams are playing in Dunedin this week. North Harbour recorded their first win in the Tournament this week with a 62-44 win over Counties-Manukau, while Waitakere are sitting in the middle of Pool B after three matches including an important win over Southland 48-38.
Wellington are also looking strong after going down to Otago yesterday, getting their campaign back on track with a 66-30 win over Otago B.
Click here for up to date results.