Pre­mier net­ball com­pe­ti­tion un­der way


Tash Masters wants her club to shake off the brides­maid tag this year.

The cap­tain of the Te Tai Timu pre­mier 1 net­ball side is hop­ing its third time lucky for them in 2016. In their first year in the top Kapi Mana grade two years ago, they lost a pul­sat­ing fi­nal to peren­nial heavy­weights Norths, and last year fin­ished third.

This win­ter Te Tai Timu have their best op­por­tu­nity for top hon­ours, be­cause the pre­mier 1 grade has been re­duced to six teams and the club has had a second team pro­moted into the grade.

As well, Norths and KBJ 1 will be play­ing in the re­gional Su­per League com­pe­ti­tion and lose play­ers to age group and rep­re­sen­ta­tive duty.

Masters said her charges fan­cied their chances.

‘‘This could be our year,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s great to have two [Te Tai Timu] teams in the grade to grow tal­ent and depth.

‘‘We’re ca­pa­ble, have trained well, and have a full­time coach on board.

‘‘But we have to have the con­sis­tency. We beat KBJ by 10 in the first round [on May 7], so it was a nice way to start.’’

Masters said the lower num­ber of teams in the pre­mier 1 grade had raised ques­tions, but she said the qual­ity was still there.

Tawa Col­lege, who played in Kapi Mana last sea­son, now play in the Welling­ton com­pe­ti­tion.

Norths would al­ways be the team to beat in Porirua, Masters said.

‘‘I don’t think the com­pe­ti­tion is as strong as in the past, but there is a lot of new blood and it won’t be easy.’’

Masters said one of their new young stars to watch was un­der-21 Cook Is­lands in­ter­na­tional Deanna Dando.

Be­sides Norths, KBJ and the two Te Tai Timu teams, Aotea Col­lege and Rockz fill the re­main­ing pre­mier 1 spots.

Mean­while, Cen­tral are top of the ta­ble af­ter five rounds of the Beko net­ball league.

The team, fea­tur­ing the Porirua trio of Jer­maine HowardVal­lance, Colleen Faleafaga and Mila Reulu-Buchanan, pro­duced their most com­plete game when down­ing North­ern 56-45 at Te Rau­paraha Arena on May 1.

The com­pe­ti­tion fi­nal will be in Auck­land on June 26.


Te Tai Timu 1’s Rochelle Taraeka in ac­tion last sea­son.

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