South Island Secondary School Junior Netball – Day 1

Game 1 – Greymouth HS Junior Netball Team started their SISS tournament up against Catholic Cathedral College. Girls were excited to go even though they couldn’t feel their toes as Christchurch put on a chilly morning. This was a BIG first win for the team, with all 10 players getting on the court. Sophie Whittaker, Isy Maiava and Bella Masters working hard in the defensive end picking up a huge amount of tips and intercepts giving the attacking end the opportunities to capitalise. The 51 – 3 convincing win set up the girls well in Game 1.

Game 2 – The team took on Mount Hutt College and the temperature had dropped again. This made for a slower start to the game along with taking a bit more time to gel in the first quarter. Leah McDowell and Aamaria Beal showed their leadership abilities and building their team to finish strongly again. Mid courters Aimee Ford and Neve Tacon both stepped up and had impressive games at WD and Centre. GHS took another strong win 44 – 9.

Game 3 – Was against Kaikoura HS. Pyper Mahuika and Pheobe Marris were on fire and had total control of the shooting circle. Breanna Turnbull impressed with her speed and elevation. The final score, once again a huge win for the team 47 – 11.

This see’s GHS finish day one top of Pool D with a combined 142 points for, and only 23 points against. This making their mark on the competition with the next closest team scoring 128 points for, and another team limiting the opposition to 25 goals against. These stats mean we currently have the best attacking AND defensive abilities out of all the 32 teams in the Combined Grade.

South Island Secondary School Junior Netball – Day 2

The has the team move into the second round of pool play into Pool V, Top 16 with St Peter’s Gore College, Motueka HS and second place in our Pool Mt Hutt College.

Unfortunately the second day of competition was sadly called off due to the very poor weather which included freezing cold rain and wind making for unsafe conditions to play outdoor netball. Normally on the second day of competition teams move into the second round of pool play where the other top two teams from each grade compete for the top 16 spots, and same goes for the bottom 16 teams. After the two pool cross over games teams finish the day with quarterfinals.

Having the day off was good on one hand giving the girls time to rest sore bodies, but on the other hand made for a strange and unsettled tournament format.

South Island Secondary School Junior Netball – Day 3

With the second day of competition teams played three games – quarterfinals, semifinals and finals – a big day of finals competition compared to the normal semifinal and finals played on the final day. However, it is great to see that the organiser could make the best out of a not ideal situation with a whole day being cancelled.

Game 1 – Quarterfinals 1st – 8th – The team woke to a fine fresh morning with no rain in sight, the team was unsure what to expect in the quarterfinals against St Peter’s Gore who finished top in their pool after day one. The team started a bit flat with a lot of nerves and it showed as we made a few early errors against an extremely physical St Peter’s side. The brought on Phoebe Marris into GS and moved Aamaria Beal to WA was a great decision and the team clicked. Leah McDowell worked tirelessly at WD and lead her team to a 20 – 10 win. 1st – 4th semifinals time for the team!

Game 2 – Semifinals 1st – 4th – The sun came out and the thermals started to come off as the team headed into the final against St Kevin’s College. This game was completely different to the first game of the day. The team started strong, passing into space and drove to the ball with speed. The morale was up and every player was positive giving each other excellent support and encouragement. With the help of the great support crew on the sidelines the team came through with another win 34 – 23. MAJOR FINAL here we come against an unbeaten Geraldine High School.

Game 3 – Finals 1st – 2nd – Starting line up of Phoebe Marris GS, Pyper Mahuika GA, Aamaria Beal WA, Neve Tacon C, Leah McDowell WD, Sophie Whittaker GD, Isy Maiava GK.

It was a slow start for our team and Geraldine hit the ground running and were able to capitalise off any of our mistakes and making the most of their own centre passes. Unfortunately for GHS this meant the team got further behind and half time we were down by 11 – 20.

At half time changes were made with Breanna Turrnbull and Amiee Ford, and the fresh legs helped to claw back the gap to 7 goals 18 – 25 to go into the last quarter.

Neve Tacon and Pyper Mahuika are brought back onto the court to finish the game and the team lifts a gear. All of a sudden the team are within 3 goals of the strong Geraldine team with 2 minutes left in the game. The defence was fierce and our shooters are making the the circle their own. With 1 minute left on the clock the pressure is intense from both sides but the team hold’s their nerve and score the winning goal which just puts our noses in front by a single goal. The final whistle goes and GREYMOUTH HIGH WINS! The team and our amazing supporters were ecstatic, tears of happiness and total relief from every player, team management and supporters.

The strong team of 10 girls went to Christchurch and played their absolute hearts out. Six games of netball with six wins makes to take home one big shiny trophy. As the late great Sir Ed would say “we knocked the bastard off!”.

This is an outstanding achievement for our talented young team dedicated netball players, competing against the other best combined grade teams from around the South Island. The first time 22 YEARS that Greymouth HS has had the honour of lifting this trophy!

You have done the West Coast and Greymouth High School proud, we are very lucky to have such wonderful ambassadors representing us at tournaments like this one. Congratulations team!

Also a huge thank you goes to Coach Tarn Mahuika and Manager Jolene Prichard along with umpire Nadia Lee for for all their work taking care of the team while away and developing such a great environment for them to achieve so well.

Finals photo with opposition Geraldine High School — Image by: Sport Dept.