Tenacious Bluff make St Mary's A work hard

SARAH HAMILTON
Last updated 05:00 11/06/2014

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Low-scoring games for Invercargill Netball Centre's premier A netball competition may reflect the lack of game time but the same could not be said of the premier B division, which rattled out some excellent games.

Again challenged by the multipurpose Stadium Southland's popularity, the Invercargill Netball Centre has been forced to interchange its three competitions over several Saturdays rather than run the open, secondary school and year 7/8 competitions at the same time.

Last weekend, premier grades returned for a full round of games.

Top-of-the-table Northern Tavern St Mary's A came up against a Bluff side growing in confidence. The 43-38 score reflected both teams' lack of game time as well as Bluff's tenaciousness.

Northern Tavern St Mary's All Stars, with a final score of 47-32, claimed their first win of the season, over Southland Girls' High School A, after drawing with St Mary's A in round two, but they are not yet clear of the relegation playoff, which will be decided in the last game of the round against Bluff.

In Premier B, Rata Stubbies and Northern Tavern St Mary's B, hold top position and a chance of promotion to the top tier after two good wins apiece. The Stubbies beat Verdon A 57-36.

St Mary's B also took out a high-scoring affair against the Otatara Stars, winning 60-49.

Collegiate Gold had a 39-34 win over Northern Tavern St Mary's Black.

The top and bottom positions in Premier B will be decided on the final game of the round on June 21.

All eight teams in the first grade have had a win and only two sit outside top-four contention.

Makarewa Blue upset No 1 seeds Grasmere All Day 28-15, pushing the latter down to third place on the points table. While JP Plastering Woodlands were outrun 44-20 by Southland Girls' year 10A team, these two teams now share top spot.

In senior reserve, Northern Tavern St Mary's Spartans toppled Grasmere 27-23 and took top spot with two games to go in the round.

In year 7/8 first grade, Verdon 8A pipped Southland Girls' High 8B 22-19.

Highest on the points table in the year 7/8 competition are Hargest 8 Gold, by virtue of a 31-7 win on Saturday over the SGHS Swifts.

Three teams sit on eight points, with St Johns Magic beating Southland Girls' 7A 24-9.

On Saturday, premier netball takes another break to free up court space for the secondary schools grades and the remaining 12 open and year 7/8 grades.

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- The Southland Times

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