Central Men can finish on a high
They may be ineligible to win the round or make the Marlborough premier netball competition playoffs, but Central Men have the chance to finish their season on a high and unbeaten in round three when they face Harlequins Radich Law at Marlborough Lines Stadium tomorrow night.
After finishing third in rounds one and two and missing out in the Tasman Trophy, the only competition they are eligible to win, Central will be hopeful of ending their 2012 campaign on a good note in the 7pm clash.
Three from three so far in round three, including a big win over Smog Stainless Systems, a second win of the season over Quins RL would all but see them do that. From there they would only require a virtually guaranteed win over Smog Two in the fifth and final game of the round to put them above both of their leading rivals.
Although Central lost to Quins heavily in round one and by seven goals in round two, they recorded a 59-53 win when the two sides last met in the playoff for third place of the Tasman Trophy. That, along with having a full squad available, should give them plenty of confidence they can square the ledger at two apiece.
Central coach Mia Adams said the addition of Nelson shooting import Jared Lock had played a part in boosting her side's confidence. She felt if her midcourt held strong and the team stuck to what worked when they beat Quins they could again come out on top.
A calf injury forced Quins midcourter Bridget Gane from the court last week and coach Pip Duncan rated her skipper a 50-50 chance of playing. It was not likely they would risk her if she had not fully recovered.
Duncan said they were aware Central were playing well at the moment and reckoned the key issues for her team were to stay composed and keep the ball out of the air.
In other games, Smog SS will have few problems in moving up into second place on the ladder when they face Quins Fairweathers at 6pm. Smog have prevailed by over 50 goals both times the two have met this season.
Wairau Jetz and Smog Two meet in the 7.45 match that is is expected to be a fairly tight battle.
Wairau were victorious in round one, while Smog took the round two fixture and the winner tomorrow will greatly improve their chances of qualifying third for the playoffs.
The writer's picks for tomorrow night's premier netball matches:
Smog SS v Quins FW: Smog by 40.
Quins RL v Central Men: Central by eight.
Wairau Jetz v Smog Two: Smog by four.