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Tupapa and Titikaveka claim final netball spots

Thursday 4 July 2024 | Written by Solomone Taukei | Published in Netball, Sports


Tupapa and Titikaveka claim final netball spots
Tupapa defeated Avatiu 37-35 at the NCI Premiership netball semi-final on Tuesday. 24070311

Titikaveka Pearls will face Tupapa at the Netball Cook Islands Premiership finals today after defeating Arorangi 61-51 in the semi-final match on Tuesday.

Led by the internationally capped Alana Smith, Titikaveka leveraged their youthful midcourt to power up their performance in the final quarters of the match against the Arorangi team who battled hard and strong until the third quarter when Titikaveka pulled away.

Although Arorangi had a strong defence, they were unmatched by the fast-moving duo who managed to slot ten turnovers, taking the lead by 10 goals in the final minute.

Micheyla Matapo was phenomenal, shutting down the young Arorangi shooters' connections and forcing them to take long shots, which ultimately paid off. The full time score was 61-51.

With the semi-final round setting a high standard for the finals, Tupapa showcased a thrilling match against Avatiu winning 37-35.

It was nothing short of thrilling and entertaining as Avatiu had a strong, experienced line-up that kept them in play against Tupapa.

They had the likes of the internationally capped player Curly Taripo, the New Zealand-trained defender Penny Crocombe, and the agile goal defense Nicol Tiaore, who had just returned from a successful season at the Singapore National League.

Tupapa boasted the experience of local club player Mii Savage, who was formidable at wing attack and centre, controlling the middle with authority.

With an average of 10 centre passes and assists, Savage took strong control of the midcourt, supported by her young New Zealand-based centre Nicole Marurai, who was involved in nearly every pass throughout the game.

Tupapa’s shooters were phenomenal, with Riiana Nicholas making a strong comeback from injury and despite taking time in rehabilitation and returning to top form was on fire serving as a reliable target for Tupapa under the post and making it difficult for the Avatiu defender to initiate intercepts and Tashi Kopu, maintained a remarkable 90 percent accuracy.

Avatiu fought hard against Tupapa and kept their game up until the final minute. With just one minute to go, Tupapa had taken the narrowest of all leads, 35-37.

Despite Avatiu's attempts to channel their passes to their towering goal shooter Taripo, Tupapa’s young utility defender Mere-Jean Piri had tightly wrapped her defence and Tupapa secured the win with a last-second shot from Kopu to claim the final spot.

As the competition heats up, all eyes will be on Tupapa and Titikaveka, the two teams that have demonstrated exceptional hunger to be the top two teams in the final.

The final game is expected to be a spectacular display of skill, strategy, and sportsmanship, leaving netball enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.

The anticipation is high as both teams have shown remarkable skill and tenacity throughout the tournament. Fans eagerly await to see which team will emerge victorious in what promises to be a riveting final match. The stage is set for an intense showdown, with both teams determined to claim the championship title.

The final match will be held today at the Tupapa Auditorium at 5pm.