U-17 side unable to sustain pressure
Rare smiles were eventually removed and disappointment returned after the South Canterbury under-17 netball team suffered another defeat at the national under-17 netball tournament in Christchurch yesterday.
South Canterbury put in a spirited first quarter effort but eventually lost 37-28 to Howick-Pakuranga at Hagley Park.
The result means they will likely play off for 21st to 24th at the tournament, with a win today crucial to avoid finishing last.
Both teams' sideline officials had the score at 10-6 in South Canterbury's favour at quarter-time, but the official scorers had it at 10-8, which was the score that stood.
Coach Kate Johnson said her team showed the commitment and desire she had been looking for, though unfortunately having their lead cut in half through no fault of their own hurt their confidence.
"The girls kept things really tight, we drove hard through court and (passed the ball) nice and flat because we knew [Howick-Pakuranga] liked to dominate in the air."
Johnson singled out the mid-court duo of Millie How and captain Georgia Greig for their strong work rate, while Renee Olley's ability to create turnovers and "tip the ball" out of play ensured South Canterbury had a lead.
The young side could not maintain their momentum for the final three quarters, and they surrendered their lead in the second quarter.
Twice they conceded runs of five unanswered goals to Howick-Pakuranga, who were too strong over the remainder of the match.
Rosie Tulisi continued to improve at goal attack, and while South Canterbury did pull back the deficit from 14 goals to nine in the final quarter it was too little, too late.
"They need to build their confidence at this level," Johnson said. "It will come with experience."
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