With two rounds remaining in the championship round, it was a battle of the top of the table. Ecolab having previously played Ohaupo earlier in the season and winning that match 42-30, knew that it would be much tougher this time around.
Ecolab for the second week in a row were down 5 of their squad due to injuries or work commitments and faced the challenge of Ohaupo Premiers.
TAS Ecolab trains as a squad with TAS Crowe Horwath at the Te Awamutu Events Centre each week so they were fortunate to be able to call on the services of 3 of their players, Angela Wells, Bianca Chapman and the Veteran Kahu Walker.
TAS Ecolab adversity did not stop there with one of the clubs top defenders Joanne Denton being called back into work for an emergency farm matter and also one of their other leading Defenders Elayna Crawford getting Tonsillitis overnight but tried her best to not allow the discomfort affect her game.
The first quarter started off well with the attacking mid court of Jazz Sutherland and 13 year old Mya Sunnex moving into space with fast crisp feeds into their shooters Kayla To’angutu and Janene Parlane.
The defensive unit of Angela Wells, Elayna Crawford and Kate Bryant kept Ohaupo struggling with great hands over pressure and clean intercepts to end the quarter up 10-5.
The 2nd quarter had a reshuffle due to sickness to Crawford with Sarah Bryant moving from her preferred positions of C and WA to GD, a position she has not played before. Bryant with her natural defensive instincts continued the defensive pressure throughout the court and the score continued to increase by the end of the 2nd quarter to 20-12.
The 3rd quarter started off well, with some quick feeds into the shooting circle from Jazz Sutherland and some nice touches once again from the 13 year old Mya Sunnex. Sutherland who has been injured for the past few weeks and was nursing a minor injury prior to this game, did not look like she had had a break from the game at all with some great movement into space and great combinations with the shooters.
TAS Ecolab got out to a 15 goal lead with only 2 mins left to play in the quarter when the fightback from Ohaupo started and the momentum shifted. The 3rd quarter ended with TAS Ecolab leading still 30–20.
With TAS Ecolab still firmly in control of the game, the tides turned rapidly near the end of the 3rd quarter and continued throughout the 4th quarter, Ohaupo fought hard and got within 1 point with only minutes remaining as it didn’t matter what TAS Ecolab tried to do, nothing was working, but luckily some momentum shifted and TAS Ecolab finished the game off by winning by 4 goals and denying Ohaupo a bonus point, 37-33.
Next up is another big challenge for TAS Ecolab when they meet a very experienced “Tumeke” team coached by Gwen Matchitt. This game will be another physical battle and a great game to watch at 9am next week.
Te Awamutu Sports Netball other top senior Team TAS Crowe Horwath also got another good win over a very experienced COGS team winning 27-23 and continue their progress to the A Grade playoffs that will commence in 3 weeks. Next week they face TAS Red Red Red.