Mt Albert Grammar talent too good
An unbeaten season and a decisive victory is a fitting send-off for Mt Albert Grammar School netball captain Jamie-Lee Price.
The 17-year-old led her team to a 41-23 win against Wellington’s St Mary’s College at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Championship to continue their national winning streak.
It was an emotional end to Price’s school playing career ahead of her move to Hamilton to play with the WaikatoBay of Plenty Magic.
‘‘This was a great way to finish off, especially with it being the second year in a row that we’ve won the national title,’’ Price says.
It was also the last school tournament for her fellow year 13 players Meretini Fuimaono, Ashi Ponini, Destiny Grace, Shekynah Clarke and Oceane Maihi.
Both sides kicked off proceedings strongly in front of a packed crowd at the Auckland Netball Centre.
The first quarter was evenly matched with St Mary’s making more attempts at goal but allowing defenders Price and Holly Fowler to gain possession and convert at the other end.
With only two shots separating the finalists after the first quarter, Mt Albert stepped up their intensity and were leading by 14 at halftime.
In the end St Mary’s struggled to narrow the gap to prevent Mt Albert from defending the title.
The competition was tougher than the final score suggests, Mt Albert Grammar co-coach Te Aroha Keenan says.
‘‘We played hard and fast and were tough when we needed to be.
‘‘It was great to get all our top players on court through the tournament – it showed the depth of the squad.’’
The premier team loses six of its experienced players this year but there is plenty of talent coming through, Keenan says.
Winning streak: Mt Albert Grammar captain Jamie-Lee Price, left, and Meretini Fuimaono celebrate defending their title at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Championship.
Game on: Mt Albert Grammar’s Destiny Grace and St Mary’s College Whitney Souness in action.
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to watch a video and for more photos of the final.