Marlborough Midweek - - NETBALL -

The fact that they re­duced the mar­gin of de­feat when these two sides last met from 30 to 24 will of­fer lit­tle con­so­la­tion to the ‘‘ladies in black’’.

Toko made their in­ten­tions clear from the out­set, open­ing up a 13-goal lead af­ter 15 min­utes. The Picton side put up 27 goal at­tempts to their ri­vals 13 and, with shoot­ers Gemma Hika and Jess Prosser main­tain­ing an av­er­age over 80 per­cent, there was only go­ing to be one win­ner.

How­ever, SMOG dis­played their ex­pe­ri­ence and re­silience by tak­ing the sec­ond quar­ter 14-13, over­turn­ing the pos­ses­sion deficit through good work at both ends of the court. Lucy Martin and Tracey Moa­naroa be­gan to force Toko’s at­tack into er­rors, while SMOG shooter Jess Ruther­ford made them pay on the scoreboard.

Un­for­tu­nately for SMOG their re­vival was short-lived, Toko tak­ing the third quar­ter by five then claim­ing the last stanza by seven as the match lost its in­ten­sity.

Toko are more and more look­ing like a well-oiled ma­chine, es­pe­cially given the re­turn of ath­letic de­fender Tris­tian Tay­lor this week and their ex­pe­ri­enced mid­court com­bi­na­tion of Tash

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