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Titikaveka secure finals berth

Monday 21 June 2010 | Published in Regional

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The Titikaveka premier grade netball squad have booked themselves a spot in the grand finals after having to up their game to beat Avatiu 51-40 during their knockout match on Saturday.

And the match itself was an excellent performance of local netball between the two local giants of netball.

Avatiu went into the game with great intensity which paid dividends as they managed to keep Titikaveka to just the first gear.

In fact, Avatiu have never looked more confident on court than they did in the first two quarters of the match and even the early loss of their goal keeper Mariana Tuaputa did little to stifle the team’s early momentum.

The loss of Ngaputa at goal keeper meant a reshuffle for Avatiu and veteran Edith Nicholas stepped into the GD bib where she made an immediate impact.

Titikaveka on the other hand played good clean basic netball without breaking too much of a sweat.

Avatiu managed to keep Titikaveka to just a one point lead 12-11 after the first quarter and things were looking promising for the blue and gold army.

Back in the second quarter, Avatiu played like they’ve never played before – with confidence both in attacking and defending.

Nicholas had the challenging task of ‘sticking’ to ace Titikaveka goal attack and former national netball representative Selina Napa and managed to rattle the veteran at times.

Fellow defender and Avatiu goal keeper Nana Samuela also had a magic game and was kept on her toes by Titikaveka’s sharp shooting teen goal shooter Esther Matapo.

Her game has certainly matured over the years and season and under the eye of coach and former Silver Fern Margharet Matenga, Matapo has certainly grown her confidence in the shooting circle.

But it was Avatiu’s shooting duo Mati Toru and Curly George that were seeing the ball more often early in the second half as Avatiu got the upper hand over Titikaveka and shot themselves to a 6 goal lead.

But Titikaveka stepped up their tempo and within a flash they pulled Avatiu’s lead back to a 24-all draw at the end of the second quarter.

Back in the third quarter, Titikaveka went from cruise mode to turbo charged and turned the tables on Avatiu to take out the third quarter 35-33 before really showing their skills in the 4th quarter.

And while Avatiu still had a chance to beat the Pearls, the Dragonflies lost their structure and struggled to find their early game momentum, drive and confidence.

While Titikaveka takes a well earned week’s break before the finals, Avatiu will have to regroup to meet Takuvaine in next week’s ‘do or die’ semi finals games.

Takuvaine managed to put away a tenacious Ngatangiia squad 47-36 who at one point were point for point with Takuvaine.

Teams that won on court one (number one and two placed teams) go straight to the grand finals and the losers play the winner of the match ups on court two. Those that lost their games on court two (number three and four placed teams now hang up their bibs.

Knockout netball results: (court one) premiers Titikaveka 51 vs Avatiu 40, reserves Takuvaine 45 vs Avatiu 39, open one Titikaveka 43 vs Takuvaine 35, open two Titikaveka 17 vs Avatiu 23, under 19 Titikaveka 30 vs Takuvaine 26, under 16 Takuvaine 23 vs Titikaveka 19, under 14 Titikaveka 16 vs Avatiu 12, under 12 Avatiu 18 vs Titikaveka 6, under 10 Avatiu 27 vs Takuvaine 2, (court two) premiers Takuvaine 47 vs Ngatangiia 36, reserves Titikaveka 48 vs Ngatangiia 50, open one Avatiu 36 vs Ngatangiia 13, open two Ngatangiia 23 vs Takuvaine 18, under 19 Avatiu 36 vs Ngatangiia 22, under 16 Ngatangiia 13 vs Avatiu 11, under 14 Takuvaine 22 vs Ngatangiia 8, under 12 Ngatangiia 4 vs Takuvaine 14, under 10 Ngatangiia 8 vs Titikaveka.