MAGS repeat netball win in champs
Mt Albert Grammar School maintained its unbeaten record to win the College Netball Championship for the fourth time.
A convincing 43-32 win over St Kentigern College on June 1, solidified their spot as the best secondary school team in the country.
The scoreboard shows a decisive win, but MAGS cocoach Te Aroha Keenan says the action told a different story.
‘‘St Kentigern’s is always going to be a tough competitor.
‘‘It was a really captivating match, some really awesome skills were on display,’’ Keenan says.
A gritty St Kentigern side managed to keep MAGS on their toes right through to the end of the third quarter.
Sticking to their original gameplan was not an option, as the wiley St Kentigern’s defence tried to stifle some key players.
‘‘They had to adjust to what was happening,’’ Keenan says.
‘‘There were players that St Kentigern’s put pressure on and they coped really well.’’
Keeping their composure, the reigning champions showed they are worthy of the title by pulling away in the final 15 minutes.
‘‘It was probably the most physical game we’ve had with them,’’ MAGS captain Holly Fowler says.
‘‘We were quite surprised we came away with such a big lead, it was quite a shock.’’
With many senior team members leaving at the end of the year, the game pro- vided an opportunity for the younger players to step up.
‘‘This is one of the youngest teams we’ve had for quite a while. It has been a big learning curve for them.’’
The side hasn’t lost a game in the College Netball Championship since 2012.
With the National Secondary Schools Championships fast approaching MAGS is looking for another title.
Keenan has worked hard training her girls but she says the culture is key to their success.
‘‘[The girls] want to do well for themselves, but also to do well for their school. There is a great culture that the older girls pass on really well.
‘‘They’ve all got very strong supportive families and we couldn’t do half the stuff we do if we didn’t have those families behind us.’’
Maia Wilson also received some good news this week, with the MAGS student named as a New Zealand A and Silver Ferns trialist.
Caitlin Dowden looks to offload before the St Kentigern College defence can strike.
Goalkeep Elle Temu went on to be named Player of the Grand Final for her defensive work.