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Titikakeka Pearls reign supreme

Monday 5 July 2010 | Published in Regional

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The Titikaveka Pearls are undoubtedly the island’s greatest netball club.

The Pearls premier grade hardly broke a sweat in their 60-40 drubbing of the Avatiu Dragonflies in the 2010 season grand finals on Saturday.

After the game – the Pearls inspirational leader Luciana Matenga confessed to be nervous before the game – even more nervous than facing the region’s best at the recent Pacific series.

But she needn’t have worried as her team took charge of the finals match from the start – their class and team cohesion evident from start to end.

Pearls coach and former Silver Fern Margharet Matenga put her best seven on the court – goal defender Luciana Matenga, goal attack Selina Napa, goal shooter Ani Matenga, wing defence Danielle Trego, wing attack Ngere Puia, goal keeper Micheyla Matapo and centre Patricia Taea.

Together the team effortlessly took the upper hand in the game with an 18-9 lead after the first quarter.

The Dragonflies on the other hand certainly looked the part as they stood shoulder to shoulder before the game, but from the first whistle there was no intensity from the Avatiu girls.

And this lack of drive was the downfall of the side who were left to play a catch up game against Titikaveka, who went from strength to strength taking out the second quarter 37-17 and 49-31 in the third quarter.

To be fair, there were some moments of brilliance from the Avatiu girls – but they were far and few between and not enough to really take it to Titikaveka.

The side’s young shooter Mati Toru was on fire as usual while Mariana Ngaputa put on a thrilling defence when she came on court late in the game for Avatiu.

For Titikaveka, the entire unit were breathtaking with their passionate display of netball.

While the Dragonflies were understandably disappointed with the loss – there were no tears, just plenty of smiles and cheering as they regard getting to the grand finals as an achievement in itself.

The Dragonflies have certainly elevated their club to the top and next year could be the year that the Dragonflies take the cherry.

Pearls captain Luciana Matenga was the picture of a proud leader after the game as she thanked her brilliant team for their work through the season.

“What can I say – they are a fantastic bunch!”

Avatiu Dragonflies captain Edith Nicholas says that it’s back to the drawing board for the club.

“We didn’t play as I hoped but never mind – we are proud to have made it this far,” says Nicholas.

The workaholic captain was proud of the teenage players in her squad saying that the club’s first commitment is junior development. - MW

Grand finals results – premier grade Titikaveka 60 vs Avatiu 40, reserve grade Takuvaine 45 vs Ngatangiia 46, open 1 Titikaveka 36 vs Takuvaine 35, open 2 Titikaveka 25 vs Avatiu 21, under 19 Takuvaine 29 vs Titikaveka 27, under 16 Takuvaine 21 vs Titikaveka 27, under 14 Titikaveka 30 vs Avatiu 9, under 12 Avatiu 8 vs Titikaveka 30, under 10 Avatiu 18 vs Takuvaine 4.

Photo action , page 11.