Mackenzie rally to win nailbiter
"We're not going away this year."
Defiant words from Mackenzie Old Girls player/coach Cindy Robertson after her team rallied from a 16-10 third quarter deficit to beat Pleasant Point 24-21 in South Canterbury premier grade netball on Saturday.
With one round to go, the loss means Pleasant Point face a must-win match against Harlequins 1 this Saturday to make the semi-finals.
In other results; Craighead Diocesan School A beat Harlequins 43-24, while Old Boys maintained their top-four aspiration with a 38-29 win over Timaru Girls' High School.
Roncalli College were too strong for Craighead B 33-19.
Pleasant Point were unlucky to finish fifth last year and history could repeat in 2012, after they undid all their hard work by going off the boil in the final five minutes of the match.
They went to-to-toe with Mackenzie Old Girls' highly touted defence, but when the passes needed to stick, and goals needs to be scored, they went cold.
The match was littered with turnovers from both sides in the attacking third.
Pleasant Point goal defence Amanda Brown was matched by Robertson's exploits at goal keep at the other end of the court.
Mackenzie Old Girls made plenty of positional changes, while Pleasant Point stayed largely settled.
Mackenzie Old Girls mid-courter Codi Lilley played wing defence, centre and wing attack in the first three quarters.
Pleasant Point goal shoot Nicole Bowis kept her team in front for most of the game as she did the bulk of the shooting.
A 5-5 first quarter had turned in Pleasant Point's favour by halftime, as they lead 14-10 at halftime.
They scored the first two goals of the third and the fourth quarter, but each time Mackenzie Old Girls were able to claw their way back.
Bowis' shooting accuracy faltered in the last five minutes, while the Mackenzie Old Girls combination of Laura Gibson and Stacey Grant held their nerve best to inflict a heart-breaking loss on Pleasant Point.
Robertson praised the cool heads of her shooting combination near the end.
"Those two are our top combination and they really came through for us."
She said knew all the chopping and changing in the match was hurting her team's flow, but she was confident they would eventually click.
Pleasant Point player/coach Julie Langford said the loss was frustrating as she could not think of an exact area where her side under-performed.
"We gave it everything, it was a really physical game but I felt we played like I had wanted them to by executing what we had done in training.
"Although we lost, hopefully the girls will take some confidence from their effort, so we can win the game next week (Harlequins)."
- © Fairfax NZ News