Netball’s Tasman Trophy will return to Nelson after Jacks OPD produced a controlled performance to down Pelorus at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 on Sunday.
Jacks, the unbeaten leaders of the Nelson competition, proved too strong for their Marlborough counterparts, prevailing 58-49.
Pelorus, who took out the second round title on this side of the hill, were unable to win a quarter in a high-paced encounter. They trailed by eight at halftime and despite creating some turnovers in the second spell, were unable to make a dent in the deficit.
Their rivals, who brought just eight players eastward, were clinical. Shooters Rayna Olsen and Hannah Dawson worked the attacking circle superbly, creating space for each other and moving the home town defence around. Their midcourters played with pace and accuracy, led initially by skipper Jess Drummond and Bayly Templeton, and latterly Charlotte Donaldson.
In defence, Kirsty Thompson, Anna Miles and Kate Andrews did a sterling job restricting their rival’s entry to the circle.
Pelorus struggled from the outset to move the ball freely through midcourt, mainly thanks to their opponent’s zone defence.
Consequently, passes became forced rather than measured and turnovers eventuated as the pattern that has served Pelorus so well this season was disrupted.
Although they hung tough in the first quarter, which ended at 13-10, Pelorus struggled to find an easy path into key shooter Paige Lovell and the reliable Olivia Pinkerton.
Things got worse for the locals in the second quarter, won by five by Jacks, with wing defence Thompson’s work outstanding.
Down 31-23 at the break, the home side lifted. Goal defence Oriana Houra worked hard to keep Pelorus afloat, while wing defence Jenna Gilbert and centre Laura Murphy also began to exert an influence. Lovell and Pinkerton made the most of limited possession.
Although they created enough opportunities to claw their way back and narrowed the deficit to four midway through the quarter, their transition was often laboured and inaccurate, meaning Jacks’ advantage remained unchanged entering the last stanza.
The final 15 minutes was also evenly contested but the damage had already been done, Jacks showing ruthless efficiency to stave off any late Pelorus pressure.
In the final quarter, Lovell made way in the shooting circle for the versatile Courtney Taufa, until an injury to Houra saw Taufa return to defence with Lovell re-entering the fray.
Last season SMOG claimed the Tasman Trophy against Prices Pharmacy, also away from home, so Jacks’ skipper Drummond was excited to be bringing the trophy back to Nelson.
“It’s really nice for us to play somewhere else … we also had quality umpiring, which is nice.
“Pelorus were an unknown team – we had no idea what they were like so we came over here with open minds and stuck to our structures and processes.
“We made a few changes and I thought we adapted really well, which we haven’t always been able to do so quickly in our Nelson competition. We had good connection in the shooting circle today and patience with feeding our triangles … that was good to see.”
Drummond is a big fan of the Tasman Trophy concept.
“I love it. It would be good if we did it every round or even have the top two teams up against each other … it’s always good to get a win outside our home province.”
Scores: Jacks OPD 58 (Rayna Olsen 40/49, Hannah Dawson 18/25) Pelorus Edridge Contracting 49 (Paige Lovell 33/49, Courtney Taufa 4/4, Olivia Pinkerton 12/13). Quarter scores (winning team first): 13-10, 18-13, 11-11, 16-15.
Meanwhile, earlier on Sunday the sixth team to contest the final round of Marlborough premier play was confirmed.
SMOG Good Home took out the promotion/relegation battle with Harlequins Woodbourne Tavern 68-39 and will remain in the top echelon.
SMOG dominated throughout at the stadium, winning all four quarters with a hefty possession advantage. Consistent operators Kate Gaudin and Lucy Barrett put up 80 shots compared with Quins’ 58. The possession imbalance was created by a relentless all-court defence, led by hard-working SMOG middies Mereana Ave, Sarah Hammond and Katie Bradley, plus Bonnie Morris, Katie Cunningham and Mahina Henry-Campbell in the circle.
Quins’ shooters, Naomi Brownlee and Cathy Kitto produced good percentages with the ball they received, while midcourter Sherie Gapper and defender Mandy O’Malley battled hard throughout.
On Saturday, Quins beat Pelorus Farmlands 36-26 in the grade one decider at Lansdowne Park to progress to Sunday’s match.
Scores: SMOG Good Home 68 (Kate Gaudin 32/39, Lucy Barrett 36/41) Harlequins Woodbourne Tavern 39 (Naomi Brownlee 23/37, Cathy Kitto 16/21). Quarter scores (winning team first): 17-7, 14-11, 21-11, 16-10.