College rivalry a steely curtain-raiser

COACH: Natalie Avellino
COACH: Natalie Avellino

The college stars of southern netball will be on the court when Southland Girls' High School and South Otago High School meet in Invercargill tomorrow.

Eighteen secondary schools are in the national college netball competition, with Girls' High, South Otago and Central Southland College among the six South Island teams.

The Girls' High and South Otago game precedes the Southern Steel-Northern Mystics clash at ILT Stadium Southland tomorrow.

Delayed coverage of the Girls' High-South Otago game will be televised on Sky tomorrow about 6pm and screened again on Monday about 6.30pm.

Coaches Cheryl Blair (South Otago) and Natalie Avellino (Girls' High) will fine-tune combinations and moves in competition games today.

South Otago play in two Saturday competitions - Dunedin (morning) and Balclutha (afternoon). They take on Uni Albion A in the premier A grade in Dunedin this morning and will be back in Balclutha for a grading game against Hillend at 2pm.

Newcomers in the team are Brodie Beveridge (defence) and Sasha Scott (attack), while twin sisters Sophie and Abby Erwood are also in the strong South Otago team, which finished second in A grade at the South Island secondary schools'  tournament in Christchurch in September.

''We're hoping we can play to the best of our ability and we're hoping for a successful result,'' Blair said.

Girls' High had their first full team training on Tuesday.

Members of the Girls' High team were delayed in regrouping for training because of commitments in summer sport -  touch, rowing and athletics.

Girls' High's two games today are against St Mary's All Stars and St Mary's A.

Tomorrow will be the first time Girls' High and South Otago have met.

''South OtagontsG's nte is a good team. They finished second in the South Island tournament and we were fifth,'' Avellino said.

''They've proved themselves and now it's our chance to show what we can do.''

The Southland Times