Harelquins shooter leads an impressive list of netball performaers

Timaru Girls' High Centre Cheynese King passing a ball. King has been there best each week and gained a spot on the bench.
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

Timaru Girls' High Centre Cheynese King passing a ball. King has been there best each week and gained a spot on the bench.

OPINION: A form netball team always seems incredibly tough to pick and 2017 is no exception.

Harlequins goal attack Chloe Austin, Mackenzie goal defence Aliesha Chitty and Old Boys goal keep Kendall MacDonald have all made big statements during the first round.

Austin is a top quality goal attack, who shone in her five matches for Harlequins before heading overseas.

Old Boys defender Kendall MacDonald, right, has been in strong form and made the netball form side after the first round.
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ

Old Boys defender Kendall MacDonald, right, has been in strong form and made the netball form side after the first round.

Unfortunately for Harlies, she is back days after the final.

MacDonald has been in superb form defensively for Old Boys, while Chitty has has led for Mackenzie the way in the absence of Eve Anderson and Cindy Robertson.

Last year players like  Anderson and Robertson picked themselves, while the school teams had plenty of potential. 

Harlequins Chloe Austin beats Pareora's Nicole McNicol in their clash in May. Austin made the form team after the first ...
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ

Harlequins Chloe Austin beats Pareora's Nicole McNicol in their clash in May. Austin made the form team after the first round, while McNicol went very close.

This season Robertson, who was the 2016 player of the season, has just returned from injury, while Anderson hasn't been sighted.

Craighead are slowly starting to hit their straps, while Timaru Girls' and Geraldine High have struggled with just one win between them, while Old Boys, Mackenzie, Pleasant Point and Harlequins have dominated the top four.

The defensive end is a difficult one to pick because it's the one area of the court where there's plenty of people playing well.

Chitty has only been back about a month but her impact against Pleasant Point single-handedly won Mackenzie the clash, while she's been dominant in her other outings.

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She claims the goal keep bib, with Harlequins Kelly Waud, Nicole McNicol who has been a superb find for Pareora and Robertson, all likely to be contenders at the end of season side if form continues.

Craighead's Steph Lysaght, who was outstanding last season, would have been the front runner for a defenders bib but a nasty head knock has kept her on the sidelines.

The midcourt of Macie Austin, Kim Andrews and Hollie McLaughlan was tough to pick.

Austin has been in fine form at wing defence, stepping up during the last few weeks.

Kim Andrews has been a superb replacement for Andrea Stratford, who's been injured, while McLaughlan is new to the Pareora team but has made every post a winner.

Craighead's Taylah Marr has been outstanding since moving to wing attack and went very close to nabbing a spot, while Timaru Girls' Cheynese King and Old Boys Rowan Wheeler have been in strong form.

Lindsay Welch, Stacey Grant of Mckenzie, Erin Bates, who recently returned from injury for Pleasant Point, and Craighead's Kate Harvey pushed Austin close in the shooting circle.

Goal shoot was a difficult choice with Pip Oliver, Jess Hewitson, Erin Bates and Cecelia Wacokecoke all in with a chance but Old Boys captain Welch got the nod.

She's played most of the season at goal attack but would be equally at home in the shooting bib, being one of the best in the competition, despite Oliver being the most accurate shooter.

AT A GLANCE

South Canterbury netball Form XII

Goal keep Aliesha Chitty (Mackenzie), goal defence Kendall MacDonald, wing defence Macie Austin (Harlequins), centre Kim Andrews (Pleasant Point), wing attack (Hollie McLaughlan) Pareora, goal attack Chloe Austin (Harlequins), goal shoot Lindsay Welch (Old Boys). Reserves: Ellen Walsh (Harlequins), Cheynese King (Timaru Girls'), Nicole McNicol (Pareora), Erin Bates (Pleasant Point), Rowan Wheeler (Old Boys).

 - Stuff

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