Kereru make pre­mier fi­nal


Tech­ni­cal will face Kereru in the Christchurch Net­ball pre­mier cham­pi­onship fi­nal.

The de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons hard fought win over Lin­coln Univer­sity (LU) at the Bish­op­dale YMCA on Tues­day night puts Kereru firmly back on track to de­fend its pre­mier crown next week. A strong start to the de­ci­sive fourth quar­ter gave Kereru the edge over LU as they went on to win 54-51.

They looked to be cruising to­wards a sec­ond straight un­beaten sea­son with some im­pres­sive re­sults this year. But a draw against LU and loss to Tech­ni­cal in the past two weeks was a ‘‘wake-up’’ which coach Riki Clark said his charges needed.

‘‘It’s been a hard few weeks but I think we’ve learned so much more over the past two weeks,’’ Clark said.

‘‘There were a lot of tears last week and the big­gest thing we learned was just how much we want to win this.’’

He will be sweat­ing on the fit­ness of cap­tain Kere­ana Har­ris and goal at­tack Clau­dia Lewis who were both miss­ing from the sud­den death play-off against LU. Har­ris has a calf strain and is doubt­ful for the fi­nal while Lewis was di­ag­nosed with scar­let fever and may also strug­gle to make the last game of the sea­son.

Young goal at­tack Tyler Rollo stood up in the ab­sence of Lewis and used her speed to great ef­fect in the first half while miss­ing just two at­tempts at goal.

There was lit­tle be­tween the two teams with Kereru the first to make a break and lead 30-27 at half­time.

They ex­tended its buf­fer to five goals be­fore LU, on the back of some ac­cu­rate feed­ing from cen­tre Kate Grant and shoot­ing from both El­lie Bird and Bella James, lev­elled the scores at 42-all with one quar­ter to play.

But Kereru net­ted five straight goals when the pres­sure tight­ened early in the fourth spell to give them the win­ning edge.

‘‘I think we showed plenty of heart out there and that got us across the line,’’ Clark said.

‘‘And it’s go­ing to take more heart to take that fi­nal step.’’

Mean­while, Kereru’s B team also reached the fi­nal two af­ter beat­ing St Mar­garet’s Col­lege 54-30 in the pre­mier 2 semi-fi­nal.

Kereru 54 (Ju­lianna Naoupu 32/37, Tyler Rollo 18/21, Erin McDuff 4/5) beat Lin­coln Univer­sity 51 (El­lie Bird 39/45, Bella James 12/13).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.