Path narrows on way to final

A real battle is on the cards

A real battle is on the cards

KEYS TO SUCCESS: Waikohu’s Stormy Merritt will be a key player for her team tomorrow. Picture by Paul Rickard
Whangara’s Te Mai Ora Olsen-Baker is expected to be a prominent player for her team tomorrow. Picture by Paul Rickard

THE pathway to the Gisborne premier-grade netball grand final beckons for Whangara Old Girls and Waikohu.

But only one of these teams will take that path after their game tomorrow. A real battle is on the cards.

Tomorrow’s 11am clash at the YMCA follows Wednesday night’s YMP Sunshine Brewery win that earned them one spot in the final of the Pak’nSave competition.

The winners of the match between Whangara and Claydens Waikohu (1) will face Taste One High School Old Girls on Wednesday night to decide who plays YMP in the final.

For tomorrow’s losers, the season ends and they finish fourth.

“These two teams have had very close games in their last two outings,” netball commentator Sherrill Beale said.

The last time they played, in early July, Waikohu finished on top by just two goals.

“Now add the pressure of semifinals, where the winners get a chance to play for the second final spot and the losers finish their season in fourth place,” Beale said.

“I am expecting a close battle for the full hour.”

Whangara coach Ronnie Martin feels the same.

“We have to win tomorrow, otherwise we are out; our team know and understand that,” she said.

“Whangara have been in this position before, and I know the girls will give it a good go. They want to play again next Wednesday against HSOG.

“We have been training to play a more settled game, and getting into top gear sooner. You have to step up once the top four comes around.

“It’s a different sort of game to what you play through the season. It’s cut-throat.

“I am confident the girls are up for it.”

Waikohu have probably been the big improvers towards the business end of the season.

Coach Cheryl Te Rito said her girls had definitely come together in the past few games.

“There is no reason why they cannot take on Whangara and win again tomorrow,” she said.

“All we have to do is minimise our mistakes and capitalise on as many of theirs as we can.

“As usual between us and Whangara, it will be a tough game but a good game.

“The girls are looking forward to it.”

In the other match at the YMCA tomorrow morning, Lytton Senior A take on Horouta Gold at 9am.

“The Lytton students have been playing some good netball in this round, so Horouta Gold will need to bring their top game,” Beale said.

Lytton coach Ronnie Martin said her girls peaked as a team later in the season than she would have liked.

“They have built well in recent weeks and the focus now is to finish as well as possible,” she said.

“We have an eye on the seedings for next year, and on the team’s national secondary schools tournament in the first week of September, when they will play in the A grade for the first time.”

Horouta Gold, on the other hand, would dearly love to finish their season with a flourish, and cannot be written off.

On Wednesday night, Lytton play their final game — against Gisborne Girls’ High School Senior A.

Over at the Victoria Domain courts, the intermediate and secondary school teams play their final games, and the seniors will play top-four and bottom-four semifinal games.

The domain courts will be busy from 9am to 1.30pm tomorrow.

THE pathway to the Gisborne premier-grade netball grand final beckons for Whangara Old Girls and Waikohu.

But only one of these teams will take that path after their game tomorrow. A real battle is on the cards.

Tomorrow’s 11am clash at the YMCA follows Wednesday night’s YMP Sunshine Brewery win that earned them one spot in the final of the Pak’nSave competition.

The winners of the match between Whangara and Claydens Waikohu (1) will face Taste One High School Old Girls on Wednesday night to decide who plays YMP in the final.

For tomorrow’s losers, the season ends and they finish fourth.

“These two teams have had very close games in their last two outings,” netball commentator Sherrill Beale said.

The last time they played, in early July, Waikohu finished on top by just two goals.

“Now add the pressure of semifinals, where the winners get a chance to play for the second final spot and the losers finish their season in fourth place,” Beale said.

“I am expecting a close battle for the full hour.”

Whangara coach Ronnie Martin feels the same.

“We have to win tomorrow, otherwise we are out; our team know and understand that,” she said.

“Whangara have been in this position before, and I know the girls will give it a good go. They want to play again next Wednesday against HSOG.

“We have been training to play a more settled game, and getting into top gear sooner. You have to step up once the top four comes around.

“It’s a different sort of game to what you play through the season. It’s cut-throat.

“I am confident the girls are up for it.”

Waikohu have probably been the big improvers towards the business end of the season.

Coach Cheryl Te Rito said her girls had definitely come together in the past few games.

“There is no reason why they cannot take on Whangara and win again tomorrow,” she said.

“All we have to do is minimise our mistakes and capitalise on as many of theirs as we can.

“As usual between us and Whangara, it will be a tough game but a good game.

“The girls are looking forward to it.”

In the other match at the YMCA tomorrow morning, Lytton Senior A take on Horouta Gold at 9am.

“The Lytton students have been playing some good netball in this round, so Horouta Gold will need to bring their top game,” Beale said.

Lytton coach Ronnie Martin said her girls peaked as a team later in the season than she would have liked.

“They have built well in recent weeks and the focus now is to finish as well as possible,” she said.

“We have an eye on the seedings for next year, and on the team’s national secondary schools tournament in the first week of September, when they will play in the A grade for the first time.”

Horouta Gold, on the other hand, would dearly love to finish their season with a flourish, and cannot be written off.

On Wednesday night, Lytton play their final game — against Gisborne Girls’ High School Senior A.

Over at the Victoria Domain courts, the intermediate and secondary school teams play their final games, and the seniors will play top-four and bottom-four semifinal games.

The domain courts will be busy from 9am to 1.30pm tomorrow.

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