Mt Al­bert Gram­mar tal­ent too good

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT -

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.

Pho­tos: MICHAEL BRADLEY

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.

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