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NZ Secondary Schools Team Win International Challenge

New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Team Win 2014 International Schoolgirls Netball Challenge

23 May 2014

The New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball team has won the final of the International Schoolgirls Netball Challenge beating School Sport Australia 39-30.

The NZSS team beat School Sports Australia earlier in the week by just four goals, so the team were well aware that a near flawless performance was required to lift the trophy for the third year running. NZSS are the only side to have remained unbeaten the entire week, which included nine pool matches, one semi-final and the final.

The first half was all one-way traffic with the NZSS side out to an early nine-goal lead. Captain Holly Fowler led by example, picking up plenty of ball on defence with mid-court finding space to comfortably bring the ball down through court.

NZSS goal shooter Maia Wilson led from the front, netting 28 from 31 at 92 percent accuracy while goal attack Chiara Semple was equally impressive sinking 11 from 12 for 92 percent shooting stats.

Leading 25-13 at halftime, the NZSS team let Australia back into the match, something the team have struggled in the third quarter all tournament after taking such a commanding lead. Australia owned that ten minute spell, winning the quarter 10-6.

However, the NZSS team rebounded in the final stanza to cement their win, leaving everything out on court much to the delight of coaches Marianne Delaney and assistant Julie Seymour.

“I’m so proud of the girls and the way they represented themselves and their country all week,” Delaney said.

“They threw everything into that final match against Australia and it was a great result which they thoroughly deserved.”

Earlier in the day, the team recorded an important win over Pacific Rim 44-22 to secure their finals spot. All 12 players gained court-time in the semi-final with the team starting strongly to lead 28-10 at halftime.

A third quarter lull saw the Pacific Rim selection win that quarter by 7 goals to 6 with a change after NZSS coaches changed the defensive end and midcourt. NZSS were slow to react to the changes but found their rhythm in the final stanza to win through to the final against School Sport Australia for the second time in three years.

The NZSS team and management return to Auckland on Saturday evening.

For more information, please go to the Netball New Zealand website.

- Ends -

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