Caitlyn Little gets away her pass for Gladstone Heat. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

NETBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

St Matthew’s captain Hannah Penn surveys her options.

Big winning margins highlighted the opening round of matches in the premier one championship at the Trust House Colombo Road Netball Centre on Saturday.

Celtic coach Dayle Clarkson was surprised by the ease of their 55-33 win over Carterton Legends.

Celtic went into the game with only seven players and didn’t have any substitutes to call on.

Clarkson said they controlled the game from the first whistle, and it was a good effort considering the team only came together last week.

Clarkson also praised 14-year-old New Zealand Under-20 men’s international Vyktah Tamihana, who made his debut in the premier one competition.

Harcourts underlined their favouritism for a third straight title with a 46-33 win over Greytown Holmes Construction, and St Matthew’s had a surprisingly comfortable 42-27 win over Gladstone Heat.

Last year’s runners-up Wairarapa College showed that they would be a force to be reckoned with, beating 2019 semifinalists Carterton Red 52-40.

Waicol coach Melissa Cullen was surprised by the margin of victory against the injury-hit Carterton Reds.

Vyktah Tamihana made a promising debut for Celtic in their win over Carterton Legends.

“It wasn’t expected, but I’m really happy,” Cullen said.

“We managed to get all our players on court and give them some game time at premier one.

“We started a little bit scrappy, but the girls showed good nous to settle down and play some good netball.”

Cullen said there was still a lot to work on and she was not getting too carried away.