Inglewood were seriously tested in Taranaki premier one netball last night, but still had too much spark for Tysons in the feature game at Stratford.
The defending champions won 50-45 after going goal for goal for the majority of the game at the TET Multi Sports centre.
Inglewood led 29-24 after the first quarter and stretched their lead to nine at one stage early in the second only for Tysons to cut the lead to five again at halftime.
"We worked really, really hard for the entire 60 minutes," said an elated winning coach Tracy White. "I'm stoked. Tysons are a really good team so we're really happy to beat them.
"They got close to us a few times, but we were never headed."
Tysons made changes at halftime to bring more height in the circle. "That took us a while to adjust, but eventually we did," said White.
She said pure hard work brought Inglewood the victory.
"The girls gave it 100 per cent and they were knackered at the end," White added.
Player of the game, wing defence Heidi Smith, was highly effective obstructing the Tysons flow through the midcourt, while captain Erika Maifea led by example.
As expected, New Plymouth Old Boys had few problems against Sacred Heart Girls' College, winning 54-32 in the early game at Stratford.
"I'm pleased with the intensity my team showed because that was what I've been asking for," said Old Boys coach Leanne Matuku.
Old Boys led 11-10 after the first quarter and pulled away to take the the second 14-6 before dominating the last two quarters for a convincing victory.
Player of the day Jessie Aitken-Fowell played at wing attack before shifting to wing defence.
"She got some nice intercepts in the latter stages," said Matuku.
Another to standout in the winning side was goal shoot Josie Matuku with her strong drives through the court and coming out of the circle.
Old Boys cemented their top two spot and face frontrunners Inglewood next.
Sacred Heart competed well for the first half, before the the experience of the Old Boys lineup began to tell.
The school side's best player was Kate Wells who performed consistently, as did team-mate Mechaela Major.
Naumai made no race of their game against bottom-placed Raukura at the Hub in Hawera. The first quarter was shared 12-12, but that was as good as it got for Waitara. The scoreline of 64-37 summed up a dominant win.
"Our driving through the court was a lot better than previous games," said Naumai coach Vicki Roberts. The return of goal attack Renee Matoe to the Naumai lineup for half the game had a definite impact. Another to shine in the home team was goal keep Kendyl Fake who came back at wing defence for the final quarter.
- Taranaki Daily News
Is this the best summer ever?Related story: Wellington sizzles in January heat