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Premier netball race heating up

Alex Julian in action for St Matthew’s Collegiate. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

NETBALL

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

Carterton and Celtic have enjoyed remarkably similar seasons to date in the Netball Wairarapa premier one grade, and today they face off at the Colombo Rd courts [noon].

Both teams are tied on nine points after four rounds, having both lost one of their four matches to date.

Both those losses came against front-runners Harcourts, with Carterton going down 50-63 and Celtic losing 41-52.

Even when it comes to goal difference, there is not much separating the two teams.

Carterton sit in second due to their +50 goal difference, with Celtic hot on their heels at +42.

Carterton co-captain Abby Scott said they were happy with their progress so far, but there was still plenty of room for improvement.

“We’re happy with how it’s going, but we’ve still got a lot to work on and combinations to get cemented.

“We’ll take the wins that we’ve had, and this weekend will be a really good test for us against Celtic to give us an idea of where we’re at.”

Carterton had competed admirably for half the match in their loss to Harcourts but were punished for two underwhelming quarters.

Scott said they needed to produce for the full match to be competitive against the leading teams.

“Against Harcourts we played well for two out of four quarters, and they scored a lot of goals in the two quarters where we played badly.

“We need to deliver a four-quarter performance.”

That task won’t be easy this week after co-captain Julie Malcolm was ruled out with concussion, while a couple of others are also on the injured list.

Scott said other players would need to step up in their absence.

“Julie got concussion last week against St Matthew’s and we’ve got a couple of players out, so we’re down a few players and we’re a bit light which is a shame.

“It’ll give the rest of us a good opportunity to work on some combinations and hopefully have a good outing against them.”

Carterton only have four members of the team that contested the premier one division last year, and they are still working on their combinations and systems.

Scott said it was a case of learning as they work their way through the season.

“Trudy Hullena is our coach and she’s excellent, so we’re soaking up everything she’s got to offer.

“We definitely just take it one week at a time and just focus on the quality of the performance and getting the basics right.”

If they continue to build there is every chance they will feature in the play-offs later in the season, and no team would take them lightly in that situation.

“We’d all definitely love to be in the top four and in the finals but for this first round it’s just one game at a time and hopefully the rest will come,” Scott said.

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