Champions Craighead finally get act together
Defending champions Craighead earned their first premier-grade win after three games this season with a 38-25 triumph over Timaru Girls' High School (TGHS) last night.
Craighead's 13-1 third-quarter run was enough to secure the victory after a tight first half at the Southern Trust Events Centre.
Jessica Golding impressed on defence for TGHS while Craighead opposite Emma Trolove made some timely intercepts.
Craighead had a deserved three-goal lead after the opening quarter, but TGHS were able to close the gap early in the second quarter through captain Bonnie Opie's efforts in the attacking third.
They did not get the rub of the green with the officiating at times and Craighead clung to a 15-13 halftime lead.
Craighead slowly eased the margin out in the third quarter as their speed through court improved. Kayley Coles was strong in the mid-court while Maddie Lysaght took charge of the attack.
Held-ball calls also cost TGHS as the margin blew out to 28-16 by the final break.
It was an improved effort from TGHS in the last quarter but they had left themselves too much to do.
Mackenzie Old Girls came out strongly against competition favourites Harlequins.
Rachel Scott's strong first quarter at goal shoot kept them in touch with a Harlequins side who did not find their rhythm early despite clinging to a narrow lead.
But Harlequins stretched their advantage from that point.
Natalie Rooney had a strong game at goal defence while Stacey Grant was a strong attacker for Mackenzie. The speed of Harlequins' centre Courtney Robson often stifled the Mackenzie flow.
By midway through the match Harlequins held a nine-goal advantage. Mackenzie finished strongly but Kate Johnson's Harlequins prevailed 31-21.
Old Boys continued their strong goal-scoring form with a convincing 46-32 win over an improved Pleasant Point.
The battle of Roncalli showed how evenly matched the teams are - both attacks had to work hard to get the ball through court.
Roncalli B centre Kaylee Hutton and her opposite Emma Goddard were both standouts in the first quarter which Roncalli A shaded 8-6.
Roncalli B stuck with their more fancied rivals, and Jaymee Cannell impressed in the defensive circle.
Roncalli A wing attack Macie Austin fed her shooters well as her team stretched the margin to 17-11 by halftime.
Their speed through court was evident in the third quarter and Roncalli B struggled to combat it initially.
Rowie O'Driscoll worked hard in the shooting circle for Roncalli B but she was under constant pressure. Meanwhile Cannell and Kate Shaw formed a solid defensive duo as their side overcame a sluggish second-half start and closed the gap to 23-20 at the final break.
Roncalli B piled on the defensive pressure early but they didn't make the most of their early opportunities.
Roncalli A held on for bragging rights by five goals, shutting their opposition out of a losers' bonus point right at the end.
Craighead 38, Timaru Girls' High School 25; Harlequins 31, Mackenzie Old Girls 21; Old Boys 46, Pleasant Point 32; Roncalli A 32, Roncalli B 27.
- The Timaru Herald