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Celtic books another final

Celtic 44
Harcourts 41

Celtic United had to dig deep to book their place in Saturday’s Holmes Construction Wairarapa Netball Premier One final.

In an even match, Celtic made their move in the third quarter, pulling out to a seven-goal lead before Harcourts closed the gap to three at the final whistle.

Harcourts’ defender Sarah Watson said that the third period was the decisive one, with Celtic building a useful lead, but her team failed to capitalise on the numerous turnovers they created.

“[There was] not good decision making with a lot of forced ball out the back, and the number of turnovers that we got, we should have won.”

Celtic are into their third straight final, but who they play will be decided tonight when two-time defending champions Wairarapa College play Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Maroon.

Waicol coach Keely Riwai-Couch believes there is the depth in her squad, but it’s just a matter of the top two inches for the students.

“We definitely believe that we can win it, and if we arrive and mentally we’re all set to go, I think we’ll have a good game,” Riwai-Couch said.

Several of the Waicol players have been involved in the previous two championship runs, and Riwai-Couch believes that experience will rub off onto the younger players.

“My kind of philosophy and my way of coaching hasn’t changed, and because we’ve been able to carry the core through over the three years, everybody is on the same page.

“Just having the belief to bring our best at the end of the season; we’ve had a solid season, and we’ve been working on a few more things for that next step up.

“It’s a game that anyone can show up, and anything can happen, but I feel that we’ve done the work to be able to win.”

Waicol won their previous two encounters with Carterton Maroon 45–27 and 43–24, and with players like NZ Secondary School representative Sovaia Sabutu in defence and talented goal shoot Maggie Shields, will start warm favourites to book their place in Saturday’s big dance.

Play in the semifinal gets underway at 7pm at the Trust House Wairarapa Netball Centre.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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