Harcourts captain Katie Alsop was happy with her team’s strong second half. PHOTO/FILE
Unbeaten Harcourts overcame a slow start to pull away in the second half to beat Celtic 54-44 in the feature premier one match at the Trust House Wairarapa Netball Centre on Friday night.
Harcourts were without key players – shooter Wikitoria Davidson and defender Cameron Puhara – and captain Katie Alsop said it took some time for the rejigged line-up to gel.
Celtic had the better of the early exchanges and built a seven-goal lead before Harcourts fought back to trail by only three goals at halftime.
A strong third quarter led to Harcourts taking the lead, which they never relinquished, pulling away for a convincing 10-goal win.
“We took a little bit of time to warm up and get into it really, but we had a really good third quarter which made the difference,” Alsop said.
“Early on, we were throwing away a lot of ball and probably weren’t doing the work we needed to be doing and were a bit impatient and weren’t doing smart passes and forced it a bit.”
The win gives Harcourts a seven-point lead at the top of the table, with only one win needed from their final three games to lock in the number one seeding for the semifinals.
Championship contenders Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Maroon and Wairarapa College strengthened their top four prospects with wins.
Carterton were made to work hard to overcome a determined Greytown Holmes Construction 39-27, and Wairarapa College were always in control in their 64-35 defeat of Gladstone Gladiators.
In premier two, Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Legends narrowly beat Harcourts Elite 25-22, St Matthew’s were 23-18 victors over Opaki Vixens, and the Rebels won the Carterton club derby beating Panthers 38-15.
Premier one standings: Harcourts 28 points, Wairarapa College 21, Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Maroon 19, Celtic 9, Gladstone Gladiators 4, Greytown Holmes Construction 0.