THREE teams remain unbeaten after the opening day of competition at the Lion Foundation Netball Champs at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin.
Defending champions Otago A started their campaign with a win against North Harbour 80-43 and wowed the local crowd in their late afternoon match against Wellington, winning in a thriller. The match could have gone either way, but buoyed by their home support, Otago A closed out the game 56-55. Wellington come away from the day with one win and one loss after defeating Counties Manukau in the opening round 62-31.
Also unbeaten and looking strong are Auckland who have stamped their mark on the Lion Foundation Netball Champs with a 69-33 point win over Waitakere. Their toughest challenge of the day came later in the day with a tight match against the highly touted Hamilton side.
It was neck and neck in the opening half before Auckland stretched out taking a 31-28 lead into halftime.
The momentum shifted throughout the match with Hamilton holding a 42-41 lead heading into the final 15 minutes, but Auckland was too strong, defeating Hamilton 54-49. Paula Griffin in the shooting circle for Auckland posted shooting stats of 91%, while Hamilton’s shooters averaged around 70%. Hamilton earlier beat Manawatu 66-38 to keep their Semi-Final chances alive.
The only other unbeaten side after day one is Christchurch who have looked impressive in both of their matches. Christchurch defeated Otago B 71-32 in their opening hitout, before fending off a determined North Harbour team 66-48.
Christchurch defender Jane Watson took a tumble late in the match and hobbled off court with an ankle injury, but she’s expected to play again later in the week.
All teams will play just one match on Day Two as pool play continues starting at 11.30am Tuesday with Otago B playing Wellington. Entry to the Edgar Centre is by gold coin donation.