Mixed efforts costly for Craighead
For six quarters of netball yesterday, the Craighead Diocesan School netball team were missing in action at the New Zealand Secondary School tournament in Timaru.
Comfortably beaten 35-23 by Baradene College in the morning game, they put in another lack-lustre effort in the first half against Avondale.
Down 23-12 at halftime, the home side mustered one last defiant stand in front of rejuvenated home supporters at the SBS Events Centre.
In the space of 12 minutes, they outscored Avondale 14 goals to one, restricting them to just a single goal in the third on their way to a 26-24 lead with eight minutes to play.
In the face of some inconsistent umpiring and unpunished time wasting tactics by Avondale, Craighead could not hold on to their advantage and lost 32-31.
After three straight losses in the top-eight section, the home team will playoff for seventh and eighth today against Wellington's St Mary's College. Despite the last-minute loss, coach Barry Tucker was impressed by the fightback.
"They played really well," Tucker said. "We weren't there for the first quarter, then we got into the game and nearly pulled it off.
"A bit of belief came into the team, they thought they could do it.
"There were a couple of turnovers from Dana [Mulcahy] and that showed the girls that they could do it."
Craighead goal shoot Alice Eddington spent the second half at goal attack.
The move added speed to the mid-court and allowed Harriet Robb to spend less time running on her injured ankle by slotting into goal shoot.
The surprising turnaround was a far cry from the slow starts which haunted the team in both top-eight games yesterday.
They conceded the first five goals against Baradene College and fell behind 8-2 against Avondale.
"The first game was a shocker, there was nothing there and everyone was flat."
Craighead's last game starts at 11.20am.