From un­der­dogs to cham­pi­ons

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - JO LINES-MACKEN­ZIE

Against the odds Mata­mata New World Col­lege A net­ball team are cham­pi­ons.

The side took top honours in the Har­bour­side com­pe­ti­tion which is played over the Kaimai in Bay of Plenty.

The 14-week sea­son saw them fin­ish third af­ter the cham­pi­onship round which in­cluded los­ing to Mt Col­lege by 13 goals and Tau­ranga Girls by a deficit of 17. They then played Mt Col­lege in the semi­fi­nals to beat them by three, mean­ing they made the fi­nal for the first time in three at­tempts.

The fi­nal saw them face up to the pow­er­house of Tau­ranga Girls’, but Mata­mata man­aged to put on a con­vinc­ing per­for­mance to de­feat them 36-28 on Au­gust 19th.

‘‘We went into it not hav­ing a lot to lose hav­ing al­ready lost to them by 17 goals, but the girls re­ally pre­pared well and trained hard dur­ing that week, and every­thing just went right for us on the nigh. We ended up with a con­vinc­ing win,’’ coach Kim Lawrence said.

‘‘Tau­ranga Girls’ have about 1700 stu­dents on their roll, while the to­tal roll at Mata­mata Col­lege is 800 so we have 400 girls to choose from. To be able to play a big school like that and win, it’s mas­sive for the girls.’’

The team had lost the ser­vices of six girls from the pre­vi­ous year so Lawrence hadn’t thought a win­ning re­sult was on the cards.

‘‘We kind of thought it was a build­ing year and we prob­a­bly didn’t ex­pect to achieve all that well which makes it all that much sweeter when you are still build­ing with that group of play­ers,’’ said Lawrence.

The team made the trek across to Tau­ranga ev­ery week on a Fri­day night never once play­ing with home court ad­van­tage. They were grate­ful for their loyal sup­port­ers who also trav­elled with them es­pe­cially for the fi­nal.

Four of the girls who are in Year 13 won’t be re­turn­ing next year, while Lawrence also may de­cide to go out on a high and let the team con­tinue on with a new coach.

The team fin­ished the sea­son with the Up­per North Is­land Se­condary Schools tour­na­ment in Auck­land where they fin­ished 13th out of 32 in the B grade di­vi­sion.

SUP­PLIED: KODAK AND BLACK

New World Col­lege A Net­ball team, back row: Ra­nia Wharawhar-Muri­wai, Kim Lawrence, Shay­dene Be­govich, Poi­haere Wharawhara, Grace Walker, Is­abel Buck­hurst, Matthew Hart (spon­sor). Front row, Court­ney Old, Mandy Wil­liams, Baylee Nor­ris, Re­nee Set­tle, Rhi­an­non Wharepapa, Ni­cole But­ter­worth.

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