Harlequins rebounded quickly from defeat in their previous outing to ease past Pelorus into second spot on the premier netball standings.
On Tuesday evening at Stadium 2000, Quins came away with a 34-26 victory in a rather bizarre encounter.
A multitude of turnovers and some below-par shooting conspired to send the teams into the first quarter break with Pelorus ahead 6-5, one of the lowest scoring quarters in recent memory. Things didn’t get much better in the second quarter, which Harlequins won 8-5. While both sides struggled with passing accuracy and rhythm, some whole-hearted defensive work was also a reason why so few goals were finding their way through the respective hoops.
The third quarter summed up the unusual scoring pattern of this game, Quins making an 8-1 goal run at the start followed by a 7-1 run by Pelorus to complete the stanza.
Quins held a three-goal lead at the 45-minute mark, then upped the ante. Led from the back by a superb defensive effort from youngster Jackson McLaren, they put up 20 shots and restricted their rivals to just eight.
Although Harlequins’ shooters shot overall at just over 50 percent, with Pelorus going at around 70 percent, the wealth of possession Quins enjoyed throughout the match enabled them to create an eight-goal margin at the final whistle.
Returning to action for Quins was goal shoot Liv Hodson, in her first match of the season. She took some time to find her feet in the circle but was steady in the crucial final quarter. Others to shine for the victors were Simone Pedersen and Olivia Robinson.
Pelorus were again well served by defenders Oriana Houra, Jalen King and Riana Burger, with Paige Lovell making full use of limited possession at the attacking end.
Tokomaru have been pushed hard on a couple of occasions this season and at the halfway point of their match against Marlborough Girls’ College it seemed they would be again. However the defending champs made no race of it in the final half hour, winning 70-50.
In the first spell the students matched Toko throughout the court. Taila Town and Fiaalii Solomona shot well, defenders Mya Wiapo and Oakley Tepuia kept the brakes on Toko scoring machine Haze Tepuia while Anika Moetaua and Millie Wensley battled hard in midcourt. After the first quarter was tied 14-14, MGC took a three-goal lead into haftime.
However, their advantage was short-lived. Toko made a couple of changes, introducing Kayla Wilson and Eden Te Huki in defence. Suddenly a 12-3 run had Toko holding a comfortable lead which they built on as the match progressed and the student’s defensive intensity dropped.
As has been proven over recent seasons, if you want to beat Toko you have to play for the whole 60 minutes, a lesson the college side will have heeded.
Michaela Boaz was again outstanding for Toko, who again got great vale out of the trio of Wilson sisters in midcourt.
The final match of the night saw SMOG take on the winless Awatere combination, the Ladies in Black prevailing 62-42.
While there were no blow-out quarters, SMOG steadily built their lead through each period of play. Their outstanding player was goal shoot Isabella Rohloff, who landed 44 of her 49 goal attempts. She was well served in midcourt by Ella Donald, Anna Thomas, Katie Bradley and the returning Sarah Hammond. Bonnie Morris and Karli Murphy continue to build their defensive partnership, a telling factor in the final outcome.
Aimee Jones continues to carry the offensive load for Awatere, with middies Kim Andrews and Ashley Childs, plus defenders Harriet Ryan and Dee Teddy also catching the eye.
Harlequins Radich Law 34 (Liv Hodson 21/38, Lauren Murray 13/27) Pelorus Edridge Contracting 26 (Paige Lovell 18/26, Olivia Pinkerton 3/6, Courtney Avery 5/5). Quarter scores (winning team first): 5-6, 8-5, 9-8, 12-7.
SMOG Good Home 62 (Kate Gaudin 7/10, Anna Gardiner 11/17, Isabella Rohloff 44/49) Awatere 42 (Aimee Jones 28/46, Tori McCulloch 3/19, Elizabeth Solly 11/17). Quarter scores: 16-10, 13-9, 16-12, 17-11.
Tokomaru Crafar Crouch Picton 70 (Haze Tepuia 57/62, Gemma Hika 13/20) Marlborough Girls’ College NZ King Salmon 50 (Taila Town 22/25, Fiaalii Solomona 28/44). Quarter scores: 14-14, 13-16, 21-11, 22-9.
Standings after the second week of round two: Tokomaru 21, Harlequins 16, Pelorus 14, SMOG 11, MGC 6, Awatere 1.