FINALS produced dramatic finishes at Nita Shannon Courts on Saturday.
Ten champions were crowned in a frenetic Netball Whakatane Centre finals day and the conclusion to the club season, which rarely disappoints, included tight battles, extra time and plenty of signs that the future is bright for netball.
Trident High School had teams in three finals on Saturday, with the feature being the top team’s 58-43 win over Paroa in the premier one final. It was a typical youth versus experience clash and Trident pulled away in the third quarter.
Trident netball co-ordinator Erin Nolan said the team performed well under the guidance of coach Te Ahuru Waititi.
“Te Ahuru’s programme has been a major part of the success Trident has had,” Nolan said.
“We have three teams playing senior netball and we have players who have come into the premier team already with experience at this level.”
Nolan said the two premier teams trained together and operated as a large squad. She also said the experience shooter Khiarna Williams, who played for Waikato Bay of Plenty in the Beko League, had also helped the team.
Paroa coach Kym Hale said although it was not the result they were looking for, it was a good hard-fought game.
“The team did really well and I am proud of them. We had a lot of injuries towards the end of the season so they did well to place third in the Tauranga competition and second in Whakatane.”
Other highlights from Saturday included Opotiki College claiming both collegiate titles and the Opotiki Sports teams in two thrilling matches.
Opotiki Sports A won the premier two final, beating Trident 53-52 and Opotiki’s second team went down 51-46 in extra time against Poroporo Rangataua in the A grade final.
Netball Whakatane spokeswoman Bev Southee said the A grade final was an amazing game.
“It went into extra time, which is what you want in a final. Netball was the winner there, they were all embracing after, you actually didn’t know who won as they were all hugging and smiling.”
Meanwhile Trident still have major objectives remaining this season, starting on Friday night in Mount Maunganui with the Harbourside collegiate 1A final against Mount Maunganui College.
“The Whakatane and Harbourside competitions are different,” Nolan said. “The competition here helped us develop that mental toughness while the Harbourside competition is faster.”
On Sunday, Trident will play in the Waikato Bay of Plenty zonal tournament and then shift focus to the Upper North Island Secondary School netball tournament at Mount Maunganui next month.
Netball Whakatane Centre champions:
Premier one: Trident High School
Premier two: Opotiki Sports A
A grade: Poroporo Rangataua
A grade reserve: Whakatane High School
B grade: #TTK
B grade reserve: #FBI
C grade: Edgecumbe Sports
C grade reserve: Poroporo Pahou
Collegiate one: Opotiki College year 9
Collegiate two: Opotiki College year 9