Monday 30 May 2011 | Published in Regional
The Titikaveka Pearls netball club proved again at the weekends grand final games that they are still the queens of netball in the Cook Islands a champion title the club has held for some 10 years.
The Pearls premier grade led by Luciana Matenga, arguably the islands top player, never looked like losing the grand finals match against a determined Avatiu side who Titikaveka faced in the 2010 season.
Every time Avatiu dug their heels in to pull back the Pearls lead, Titikaveka, as they do so well, stepped up another gear to leave Avatiu to play a catch-up.
The premier Pearls cruised home to a 52-44 win against Avatiu and in the reserve grade a more intense match was played between the two rival clubs.
And while Avatiu went into the match confident and buoyed by the fact it was the first time the clubs reserve grade had made it to the grand finals in some 10 years it wasnt enough for the tenacious Mystics to match a fit and smooth Pearls outfit.
The reserve Pearls were led by former national star and Titikaveka premier grade player Selina Napa who had coached the clubs premier grade to victory this year.
Titikaveka thoroughly beat Avatiu 62-47.
But arguably the best games of the day were in the junior grades with games played with plenty of guts, passion and skills beyond the years of the some of the rising mini stars.
A brilliant match was played when Ngatangiias only team in the grand finals the under 10 grade took the court to face the Avatiu under 10 side.
The match was full of action, plenty of smiles and most impressively, raw talent from players on both sides.
The game was goal for goal for most of the game but Ngatangiias Tiani Noovao, who shot goals from all over the shooting circle, directed her young team to a fantastic 14-13 win against Avatiu.
Noovao was ably supported by her team including Tiamai Koteka, Tiare Kauvai, Ngarangi Kopu and the Miles girls.
Avatiu were good sports about the loss especially as the teams shooter Tiare Enoka shot a goal to even up the scores as the hooter sounded.
In the under 12 division Avatiu were just too good for rivals Titikaveka winning the game 13-4.In the under 15 grade, Tupapas only team played an intense match against Titikaveka in which they managed to beat Titikaveka by one point (21-20) to win the division trophy.
The Avatiu junior open team have surprised all, including their club, to win the division trophy after a slow start to the season including 5 losses in the first round.
The team went on to beat Takuvaine 35-32 to win the age grade championship trophy.
Congratulations to all the winning teams and of course the teams that worked hard to make it to the grand finals.
CI News will feature more netball grand final photos in Tuesdays sports pages along with the list of special award winners. - Matariki Wilson
Results: Premiers-Titikaveka 52 vs Avatiu 44, Reserves-Titikaveka 62 vs Avatiu 47, Junior Open-Takuvaine 32 vs Avatiu 35, Under 15-Titikaveka 20 vs Tupapa 21
Under 12-Avatiu 13 vs Titikaveka 4, Under 10-Ngatangiia 14 vs Avatiu 13