Saturday’s Wakatipu netball premiers final will be a classic match-up between youth and experience.
Stop there: Chico’s/ABL defender Lisa Murphy, backed up by Corinne Dix, tries to impede Pub on Wharf goal attack Kota Bakani during the teams’ semi-final clash last Saturday
In one corner is Wakatipu High School A, whose players are peaking as they prepare for the South Island secondary schools’ tournament in Nelson in three weeks’ time.
In the other is Chico’s/ABL, who’ve dominated the competition for the past decade.
“It’s two different styles of netball,” Chico’s/ABL defender Lisa Murphy says.
“We’re old and broken-down – we’ll probably use our heads and not run after them.”
Murphy says two teammates couldn’t jump because of torn calf muscles during her side’s narrow 48-45 semi-final win over Pub on Wharf, and another came off after tearing a shoulder muscle.
“I’ve told them all to get cortisone injections this week.”
Chico’s/ABL beat WHS A 60-41 in the first round but, with seven players absent for the world netball champs, Chico’s/ABL lost 50-35 in the second round.
“We are quite confident,” Murphy says.
“We’ve played together for years, we know how to get ourselves out of situations.”
WHS A made the finals after toppling the younger WHS Yr10A team 53-24 in their semi-final last Saturday.
Their coach Di Griffiths says her players have accumulated a lot of court time since their first-round loss to Chico’s/ABL.
That especially applies to Southland under-19 reps Alex Jones, Emma Milliken and Lucy Robins.
WHS A is also playing a local men’s team this week “to toughen up a bit”, Griffiths says.
Griffiths expects Chico’s/ABL to “come back with a vengeance” after their second-round”.
“There’s some pretty strong heads in that team and a lot of experience”.
Saturday will be a busy day for her players as earlier on they’ll be marshalling for the Peak to Peak multi-
sport race to help raise funds for their Nelson trip.
It’s a big day for Griffiths, too – she also co-coaches the WHS B team who’ll play Executive Accommodation in the Senior A final.
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