Vying for prime seedings for the semifinals is the goal for the region’s top netball teams when the Holmes Construction Wairarapa Premier One competitions resume tonight after a fortnight’s break.
The composition of the top four and bottom four are already known, and the teams will play a round-robin of three games each to determine the all-important rankings for the semifinals.
Celtic United were the form team of the first round, completing the seven games unbeaten, but they face a stiff examination to start the championship proper, up against old foes Harcourts in the 7.30 game tonight.
Beaten finalists for the last two years, Celtic laid down a marker that they want to go one better in 2023 with an impressive 46-31 defeat of two-time defending champions Wairarapa College A during the first round, while Harcourts have steadily developed their game and have years of championship-winning experience, with players such as Katie Alsop and Sarah Watson playing key roles in their 10 titles in 11 years.
Little generally separates the two teams when they meet; that was evident in the first round when Celtic prevailed 41-40, and another similarly close battle is likely.
Waicol and Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Maroon will go face to face in the early [11am] game tomorrow.
The students easily won their previous clash 45-27, and although they will start warm favourites, Carterton are expected to provide much sterner opposition.
In the bottom four, Opaki Vixens should have the edge on Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Rebels, who they defeated 46-32 in the first round, and St Matthew’s should back up their 55-42 first-round win over Tuhirangi White with another victory.