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Eight teams mean extended format for netball championship

The Wairarapa championship starts tonight with eight teams taking to the courts for the first round.

Two-time defending champions Wairarapa College, beaten finalists in the last two seasons Celtic, perennial contenders Harcourts, and
Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Maroon have returned from last season. Gladstone and Greytown are absent from this year’s competition.

Opaki Vixens, Tuhirangi White, Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Rebels [2022 premier two champions] are newcomers to premier one, and St Matthew’s return after a couple of years of absence.

Netball Wairarapa operations manager Sandy Biel said teams would play a full round of
seven games before splitting
into a top four and bottom four for the run into the championship final.

Although Waicol have lost some experience from last season, the champions have depth in talent, including national secondary school trialist Sovaia Sabutu and fellow Central Zone development squad member Maggie Shields.

The students start their campaign in the 1pm game tomorrow at the Trust House Wairarapa Netball Centre against Tuhirangi White and should start their title defence with a comfortable victory.

The season starts at 6pm tonight with the battle between traditional rivals Harcourts and Celtic for what is expected to be a close tense game.

In tonight’s 7.30pm game, a new-look young Carterton Maroon take on clubmates
the Rebels. St Matt’s and
Opaki Vixens meet in tomorrow’s 11am game.

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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