The visiting Tupapa Panthers brought their A-game to the home of hosts the Avatiu Dragonflies and ruffled the Dragonflies wings into flight.
In the Under-17 battle, the unbeaten Dragonflies had somewhat of a relaxed start to their game before a fast-paced Panthers pack sparked the hosts into action late in the closely fought battle.
Showing why they are the unbeaten U17 side in the Rising Stars Netball Championships, the Dragonflies got stuck into their work to, in the end, fly away with a 30-23 victory over the Panthers.
The tough tussle set the tone for the following U21 match and, as expected, it was a fiery encounter.
Both clubs fielded impressively talented sides, which made for a dynamic game of netball that had supporters nodding respect to opponent stars on court. Both sides had their share of unforced errors with the Dragonflies error count seeing them playing a catch-up game against the Panthers who held their composure to open up their lead to four points.
However the Dragonflies dug deep to pull the Panthers lead to within one point in the final quarter.
With time running out fast, it was edge-of your-seat stuff as supporters willed the players on court to drive and defend.
A final and sure shot at goal for the Dragonflies on the buzzer resulted in an eruption of celebration as the Dragonflies breathed a sigh of relief at edging out the tough Tupapa Panthers U21 squad by a point in the 43-42 win.
In other netball games in last week’s round, the tenacious U17 Ngatangiia Tradewinds showed their skills on the courts again, however, they were unable to keep a fired up Titikaveka Pearls from running away with the game 58-14.
Meanwhile it was a clean sweep for the Arorangi Flames against the Takuvaine Red Angels.
The west-side clubs U17 team took out their match against the Takuvaine Red Angels 46-21 while the super talented Flames U21 showed they mean business in the competitive age grade trouncing Takuvaine 89-35.
The Rising Stars Netball Championships is heating up as clubs pull out all the stops to take out the inaugural championships title in the U17 and U21 division. - Mana Media