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