Down to the wire

Tuesday 1 June 2021 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Netball, Sports


Down to the wire
Young Tupapa goalkeeper (GK) Norma Pepe defended well against the experienced Titikaveka shooters on Saturday. 21053106

Arch-rivals Titikaveka will battle Avatiu in the Rarotonga Netball Club Competition premier final this Saturday.

Titikaveka escaped a major upset in the premier semi-final against Tupapa at the National Sports Arena in Nikao on Saturday.

Titikaveka which finished the preliminary round on top of the points table led most of the game but Tupapa crept back to level terms at the start of the final quarter to set up a thrilling finish in the do-or-die battle.

A tactical change in the final quarter, moving Ani Matenga from wing attack to under the hoop paid off for Titikaveka as the giants squeezed through with a slender 48-46 win to advance into this Saturday’s showdown.

Titikaveka’s Alanna Smith said they had expected a tough challenge from Tupapa.

“We weren’t taking that game lightly and we didn’t take them for granted. They are a young team and we knew they would put up a strong challenge,” Smith said.

“Towards the last quarter Tupapa really got their mojo, nice and flowing and we started getting a little frustrated because the pressure was on us. The small change in the attacking calmed the game down for us and we were able to pull together and finish well.”

Titikaveka will battle Avatiu in the final. Avatiu defeated Arorangi 56-49 in the other semis.

Avatiu had a good lead in the opening spell before deciding to field their young players which allowed Arorangi to get back into the game and cushion the deficit to seven points.

The Open 1 and 2 finals will be held tomorrow at the Sports Arena. Takuvaine will take on Avatiu in Open 1 and Arorangi in Open 2 finals.


6U Avatiu 3 Arorangi 7, 8U Takuvaine 6 Nga/Mat 10, 10U Avatiu 9 Takuvaine 17, 12U Avatiu 28 Arorangi 24, 15U Avatiu 25 Tupapa 31, 17U Avatiu 42 Arorangi 38, Open 2 Arorangi 31 Titikaveka 23, Open 1 Takuvaine 32 Tupapa 30, Reserves Tupapa 24 Avatiu 35, Premier Avatiu 56 Arorangi 49.

6U Tupapa 7 Ngatangiia 3, 8U Avatiu 9 Tupapa 5, 10U Arorangi 16 Ngatangiia 9, 12U Nga/Mat 18 Tupapa 16, 15U Titikaveka 25 Nga/Mat 20, 17U Nga/Mat 38 Takuvaine 22, Open 2 Avatiu 19 Takuvaine 20, Open 1 Nga/Mat 22 Avatiu 35, Reserves Titikaveka 42 Arorangi 40, Premier Titikaveka 48 Tupapa 46.