Plucky ef­fort by Aotea

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

KBJ 1 lifted them­selves to third on the Porirua pre­mier net­ball lad­der by beat­ing Aotea Col­lege Reds 31-18 at Mun­gavin Ave on Satur­day.

Ta­ble- trail­ers Aotea made a sur­pris­ingly strong start, and lagged only 4-3 at quar­ter time.

They re­mained in touch at half­time, when it was 12-10 and even at the end of the third quar­ter trailed by only three, 18-15.

KBJ put the pres­sure on in the clos­ing stages, how­ever, and their fi­nal mar­gin was com­fort­able.

De­spite their win, KBJ were at their best, pres­i­dent Mel Haerewa said.

‘‘We didn’t wake up till the last quar­ter,’’ she said.

She felt the team should be lead­ing the ta­ble.

KBJ were third last sea­son, be­hind Rockz and Norths, but Haerewa rated that an aber­ra­tion, be­cause in the pre­vi­ous two sea­sons KBJ topped the ta­ble.

To claw back their po­si­tion play­ers needed to make a com­mit­ment to prac­tices and main­tain fit­ness, Haerewa said.

Game strat­egy was an­other area need­ing im­prove­ment.

On the pos­i­tive side, though their pre­mier team needed work, as a club KBJ were stronger than ever, she said.

In ad­di­tion to their three club teams, a ju­nior de­vel­op­ment team was formed this year.

KBJ v Aotea was the only pre­mier match played be­cause the Norths v Plim­mer­ton Tuohy game was post­poned ow­ing to a be­reave­ment, and Kahu­rangi 2 de­faulted to Rockz.

Norths 1 and Rockz head the ta­ble af­ter five rounds.

Blocked: Aotea wing at­tack Tepa Gib­son looks for a way past KBJ cen­tre Agnes Dean.

Pho­tos: AN­DREA O’NEILL

Tight spot: Aotea goal keep Dar­lene Tu­sani and KBJ goal shoot Anj Sami jos­tle for pos­ses­sion.

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