Sport: Exciting match-ups beckon in Regional Premier Netball League
Division one newcomers Mellons Bay face a stern test in the Regional Premier Netball League on Friday.
They're up against last year's runners-up and number two seeds Manurewa Gold in round two of the championship at Pulman Arena.
Mellons Bay, the RPL's division two winners last year, have good reason to be upbeat though. They produced a boil over when holding favourites Aztec 1 to a 58-all draw in round one and on that outcome will go into the match with a deal of confidence.
"That was as good as an upset," says Papakura Netball Centre's operations manager Briar Martindale.
"Aztecs' were the second seeds so for Mellons Bay to come back from six points down in the second quarter and hold their nerve in the third and fourth quarters is commendable. Their match against Manurewa Gold will be good test."
The early money in division one is on the Southern Souls, the only team playing out of Netball Manurewa.
They've taken over top billing from last year's champions Southern Cavaliers who have returned to play in Auckland.
Southern Souls scored a comprehensive 82-28 win over Conifer Grove Platinum in the opening round and pose a huge hurdle for Manurewa Rugby Black who went down 72-40 to sister team Manurewa Rugby Gold in their first match.
The division two showdown between Revelation Titans and Mangere Hawks will be of interest to supporters of the Mangere-Otahuhu Netball Centre.
Titans, the second seeds, showed class and mettle in their 47-34 drubbing of Manurewa Rugby Red. The Reds were ahead by one at half time and were down by three points after the third quarter.
But Titans put their foot on the accelerator in the final quarter to run away to a comfortable 13 point win.
The Hawks had a tough first round awakening. They went up against top seeds Marist 1 and lost by eight.
Division 1 (Rd 1 results): Southern Souls 82 Conifer Grove Platinum 28; Mellons Bay 58 Aztec 1 58; Manurewa Rugby Gold 72 Manurewa Rugby Black 40.
Draw: Southern Souls vs Manurewa Rugby Black, Manurewa Rugby Gold vs Mellons Bay, Aztec 1 vs Conifer Grove Platinum. Start: 7pm
Division 2 (Rd 1 results): Revelation Titans 47 Manurewa Rugby Red 34; Willowbank 63 Marlins Platinum 41; Marist 1 63 Mangere Hawks 51.
Draw: Marist 1 vs Willowbank, Revelation Titans vs Mangere Hawks, Marlins Platinum vs Manurewa Rugby Red. Start: 7pm.