Te Rina Boyce shoots for goal in Harcourts’ big victory over Carterton Red. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
Wairarapa College A won the battle of the colleges to retain a share of the lead in Wairarapa Premier One championship.
Waicol defeated St Matthew’s A 50-26 on Friday night, but the final score was no indication of how tough the encounter was in the first half.
The first and second quarters were even and Waicol went to the halftime break with a 21-17 lead.
Whatever Waicol coach Melissa Cullen said to the girls during the interval worked a treat as they came out and pressurised St Matthew’s throughout the court.
Waicol’s stifling defence restricted St Matthew’s to only three goals and their shooters were on-song as they went out to a 36-20 lead after three quarters.
In the final quarter, Waicol outscored their opponents 14-6.
In the other Friday fixture, Carterton Legends had to work hard for their second win of the championship. They eventually got the better of a brave Gladstone Heat to come away with a 49-40 victory.
Two of the favoured teams – Celtic and Harcourts – were expected to have comfortable wins in the two Saturday games, and that was how the games panned out.
Celtic stayed in touch with Waicol at the top of the table with a hard fought 43-26 win over Greytown Holmes Construction.
Celtic led throughout the match and steadily built on their lead in each quarter. But it was anything but easy, coach Dayle Clarkson said.
“The 17-goal margin didn’t tell the whole story,” she said.
“Greytown are a pretty handy team. They have a lot of tall timber and they’re a very competitive team. They will probably upset a team or two.
“They made us stop and think. There was never a time we felt comfortable, but in the end, it was a whole team effort.”
Harcourts flexed their muscles to easily win the repeat of last year’s grand final 49-27 over Carterton Red.
The defending champions were dominant throughout, steadily building to a comfortable victory.
Wairarapa College A 50 St Matthew’s A 26; Celtic 43 Greytown Holmes Construction 26; Carterton Legends 49 Gladstone Heat 40; Harcourts 49 Carterton Red 27.
Wairarapa College A 9, Celtic 9, Harcourts 7, Carterton Legends 7, Greytown Holmes Construction 4, Carterton Red 4, St Matthew’s A 1, Gladstone Heat 0.