Na­tional tour­ney deemed a suc­cess

The Southland Times - - SPORT - NET­BALL

New Zealand Men’s and Mixed Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent David Pa’alamo hailed the na­tional tour­na­ment in In­ver­cargill a suc­cess.

The New Zealand Men’s and Mixed Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion this year hosted the 33rd an­nual men’s na­tional tour­na­ment at ILT Sta­dium South­land - the first time it has been held in In­ver­cargill.

The tour­na­ment at­tracted 18 teams to In­ver­cargill which in­cluded three teams from Aus­tralia.

‘‘It’s been a very suc­cess­ful event held in a fan­tas­tic city and an amaz­ing sta­dium,’’ Pa’alamo said.

‘‘Teams have trav­elled from Aus­tralia and through­out New Zealand and it’s given them a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive of the south. They have dis­cov­ered how gen­er­ous and friendly the south is.’’

He paid tribute to the South­land Men’s and Mixed Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, um­pires and bench of­fi­cials who had in­vested their own time into as­sist­ing with the event.

‘‘You can just see how much hard work they have all put in and we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it,’’ Pa’alamo said.

North Har­bour clinched its fourth con­sec­u­tive na­tional ti­tle with a hard-fought 54-42 win over Christchurch A in In­ver­cargill on Satur­day.

North Har­bour’s Dan Rich was named as MVP of the A-Grade di­vi­sion.

Christchurch Mas­ters snatched B-Grade hon­ours from a gritty South­land A team in a thriller.

With the home side stag­ing a gal­lant come­back to draw level 45-all on the buzzer, the game was forced into ex­tra time and Christchurch held its nerve to emerge 56-54 vic­tors.

Tena­cious Christchurch goal de­fence Adrian Ren­nie was a de­served win­ner of the B-Grade MVP Award.

South­land can take some heart from be­ing awarded the Best Uni­form tro­phy from the tour­na­ment, while South­land B earned the Sportsman Award, Ro­torua took out the Fair­play Award and Christchurch A the Goal Ag­gre­gate.

In the Un­der-23 di­vi­sion, Ro­torua proved too strong for North Har­bour, snatch­ing a 54-42 win. Ro­torua’s Piripi Matthews was named MVP.

Mean­while South­land’s Lach­lan Crom­bie and Liam Barber-Kake were named as tri­al­ists for the New Zealand un­der-20 and un­der-23 teams re­spec­tively at the end of the tour­na­ment.

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