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lf netball champs logoFinals day of the Lion Foundation Netball Champs at Trusts Stadium had the crowd on the edge of their seats as many closely fought games of Netball came right down to the wire.


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Finals day of the Lion Foundation Netball Champs at Trusts Stadium had the crowd on the edge of their seats as many closely fought games of Netball came right down to the wire.

The Grand Final was a thrilling game to watch as was the exciting game that saw Bay of Plenty Gold move up into the First Division for 2011.

A great day of Netball all round!


After three days of toughing it out at the Trusts Stadium Arena in the Lion Foundation Netball Champs, Mainland Foundation Canterbury have managed to maintain their undefeated run and win the title for the first time since 2002.

The Grand Final was a real nail biter as last year's winners, Auckland Waitakere pushed Canterbury right to the final whistle.

The first few minutes were tough going with both teams hungry to gain an early lead. Both goal shooters, Ellen Halpenny (Canterbury) and Cathrine Latu (Auckland Waitakere) put up flawless performances but Canterbury managed to get away in the last few minutes gaining a crucial two goal lead making the first quarter score 13-11.

Canterbury pushed the gap even further gaining a 5-goal lead in the first 5 minutes of the second quarter. They clamped down on defence, restricting the flow of ball into the Auckland Waitakere shooting circle. Auckland Waitakere responded to the pressure, closing the gap down to a one goal lead. But once again Canterbury had a late goal surge and went into half-time ahead 26-22.

Three minutes into the third quarter Auckland Waitakere managed to close the gap and got within one goal of Canterbury. Both teams were going goal for goal as Canterbury kept their game tight and quick moves in Auckland Waitakere's new shooting circle combination of Cathrine Latu and Jade Topia (Brought on to replace Brigette Tapene) kept the Canterbury defence on their toes . Canterbury showed their resilience and however and kept their lead going into ¾ time with the score resting at 43-39.

Auckland Waitakere came out firing in the last quarter and some fantastic midcourt defence and vision into the goal circle saw the host side draw even at 50-50 with only three minutes to go.

Auckland Waitakere then took the lead for the first time in the game and the score was 52-50 with only a minute to go. Canterbury put in everything they had and evened out the score once more at 52 all. Within the last seconds the ball got turned over to Canterbury and Ellen Halpenny secured the title for Canterbury on a penalty shot right after the final whistle, winning 53-52.

This is the first time Canterbury has won the National Champs title since 2002 and after their dream run in this year's Champs, it is the perfect ending.  


Mainland Foundation Canterbury v Ascot Park Hotel Southland 3.00pm

Current leaders of the competition Mainland Foundation Canterbury took on Ascot Park Hotel Southland in the first semi-final today.

In the first quarter it was all Southland  as they managed to ebb Canterbury's flow that we have seen in the last couple of weeks from their attacking line. Southland was in the lead after the first quarter scoring 16-12.

However a confident Canterbury team fought back, leading from the front the Cantabrian shooters Ellen Halpenny and Anna Thompson found composure and began going straight for the net without hesitation.  Southland Captain Sheryl Scanlan then had to leave the court with an injury.

Canterbury had pegged back the lead by half time 28-23 and then Southland bought on young centre Kendall McMinn to replace Dana Bond.

The third quarter was a close rally for goals with Canterbury increasing their lead by just two points to make the score 42-36.

In to the final quarter Canterbury continued to dominate and secured a Grand Final Spot with a 56-44 victory.

Auckland Waitakere v Pak n' Save Wellington 5pm

Auckland Waitakere got off to an early lead in the second semi final of the afternoon as Wellington struggled to find the form they had possessed in the last couple of weeks

As the crowd fired up, Wellington settled into the game and gradually fought back to take a short-lived lead in the 18th minute.

However, Auckland Waitakere proved to be too strong in the first half, with new Mystics recruit Kayla McAllister taking to the court and Goal Shoot Cathrine Latu shooting at 100 percent for the half, taking their lead to 25-19. 

Last year's winners continued to dominate throughout the second half. Wellington didn't give up however and continued to pressure Auckland Waitakere right to the end of the game with some great through court defence.

The Final Score was 52-39.

Auckland Waitakere's convincing win will see them defend their title against Canterbury tomorrow in the Lion Foundation Netball Champs final.

Quick Review: Trust Waikato v Bay of Plenty Gold

Trust Waikato and Bay of Plenty Gold had the crowds going as they pushed goal for goal the entire game. Both teams were desperatley fighting for that 1st place in 2nd Division to secure them the easier Promotion/Relegation game tomorrow.

But it was Bay of Plenty who scored in the final minute and will meet 6th place Western tomorrow at 2.30pm


Feature match review:  Mainland Foundation Canterbury v 'n' Save Wellington 5.30pm

Leading teams in the Lion Foundation Netball Champs, Mainland Foundation Canterbury and Pak 'n' Save Wellington, went head to head today at the Trusts Stadium Arena in Waitakere. Both went undefeated going into today's game, with both teams winning all of their round robin games to date.

It was Canterbury however that walked away victorious, after dominating throughout the game.

During the opening minutes both teams tried to find their rhythm however Canterbury took the early lead with some slick and athletic passages of play.

Canterbury continued their lead into the second quarter with goal attack, Anna Thompson and goal shoot Ellen Halpenny, sharing the shooting load quite evenly and shooting at an average of 88% throughout the game.

Wellington had a stronger third quarter however they were no match for Canterbury who continued to dominate into the final quarter. Canterbury walked away with a decisive win, 50 to 32, maintaining their position at the top of the Lion Foundation Netball Champs and making them the team to watch in tomorrow's playoffs where they will meet Southland. Wellington will play Auckland Waitakere in the other semi-final.

Quick review: Auckland Waitakere v Otago 7:15pm

Last year's Champs, Auckland Waitakere were ahead of Otago in the points table before the match and were aiming to keep that position.

Scoring the first goal, Auckland Waitakere set the pace for the rest of the game. Otago tried their best to keep up but Auckland Waitakere dominated the first quarter as the score rested at 14-6.

The 8-point lead proved to be too tough to beat as the half time score also fell in Auckland Waitakere's favour as they pulled away to widen the gap to 33-22.

Auckland Waitakere kept the heat on in the third quarter and furthered their lead once again with the score 48-35.

Both teams gave it their all in the last quarter but last year's Champs weren't able to be shaken with Auckland Waitakere defeating Otago 66-49.


Quick review: Western v Ascot Park Hotel Southland 3:45pm

The game between first division teams, Western and Southland was a tight battle right from the start with the half time score locked at 22 all.

It was goal for goal for both teams but Southland managed to pull away in the third quarter with a 6-goal lead at 37-31.

The break in score was enough to seal the deal for Southland as they came away with a clean win, defeating Western 49-40.