With a big season looming, Ashburton College A coach Kaye Kennedy couldn’t have asked for much more from her side during Canterbury’s inter-centre netball competition, than what they gave her.
The pre-season tournament was held at Ashburton’s EA Networks Centre over two Sundays, with most teams playing four games all up, and not many teams managed to go through unbeaten.
But, Ashburton College A was one that did – the only one of the Mid Canterbury teams taking part to do so.
They backed up their two wins on day one with wins against two fellow school sides on Sunday, first taking on Timaru’s Craighead A and winning 54-51, before downing Rangiora High School A 59-48.
They were performances which gave the side confidence ahead of a busy start to the official season in the first week of May, where they will face their first Mid Canterbury Netball premier one competition game, and SuperNet qualification where they hoped to make it back into the top grade, in the space of a couple of days.
Day two of the inter-centre competition wasn’t as successful for Mid Canterbury’s other teams, with Mid Canterbury’s defending premier one champions Celtic starting the day with a resounding 54-28 win over fellow local side Hampstead A in the morning before losing a narrow one in the afternoon.
They took on Christchurch’s Marist Albion and after a nail-biting final quarter fell just short, 47-45.
For Hampstead A, the news didn’t get much better in their second outing of the day as they went down 49-35 to Timaru’s Harlequins A, while Mid Canterbury’s other premier one grade team – Methven A – had a mixed bag on day two.
Methven A lost 55-42 to Timaru’s Old Boys A in game one, before beating Rolleston 51-40 in the final game of the day.
Selwyn’s Broadfield A and Christchurch’s Kia Toa A were two of the other unbeaten teams over the two days, with Broadfield A downing Harlequins A 64-41, and Old Boys A 71-45 on Sunday.
Kia Toa beat Rangiora High School 60-42 and Craighead A 50-35 on Sunday.
Mid Canterbury’s two premier two sides – Southern A and United A – also had a mixed day, with Southern A’s second Sunday featuring a narrow loss to Christchurch school side Villa Maria 44-40, while United A lost 54-36 to Marist Albion and UC A 65-41.
UC A was one of a number of visiting sides featuring a familiar face, with former Mainland Beko Netball league player Kelsey Ashworth proving to be a force in the mid-court.
In their second game on day two, UC A took on Technical B and won 59-47.
There is now a bit of a break for Mid Canterbury Netball’s premier sides before their Thursday night competition kicks off on May 2.
When they do get back on court, the first round of premier one will see defending champions Celtic A taking on the team they beat in last year’s final, Methven A, while Celtic B will play Hampstead A, and Ashburton College A will take on Mt Somers A – a side which didn’t take part in the inter-centre competition.
The first round of premier two will see United A play Hampstead B, Southern A play Ashburton College A, and Methven B play Celtic C.
By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 17 April 2019