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Dominating Mainland dictate southern derby

Heller’s Mainland pocketed some valuable Beko Netball League points to maintain second spot on the ladder and an eye on next month’s grand final.

Goal attack Gemma Hazeldine was a stand-out for the visitors as Mainland beat South 57-32 at More FM Arena in Dunedin on Sunday.

South was aiming to back up on its first win of the season last week but gave up too many turnovers to challenge Mainland on the scoreboard.

And with Hazeldine rampant on attack, Mainland punished them at any opportunity with a commanding second and fourth quarter performance.

Captain Nicola Mackle said it was a good win for her side with the business end of the league looming.

“It was really a team effort out there today,” she said. “Everyone was backing each other up. We’ve definitely got confidence in each other to let the ball go, we know where each other is going to be.

“And when we let the ball go we are good out there.”

She found after her side settled into each quarter and returned to their “structures” they could build on any turnover ball they won.

“I think we were a little bit flat out there at times so we’re looking for consistency, that 60 minute performance. It was up and down so we’ll be aiming for four good quarters next week.”

Her side was boosted with the inclusion of Silvermoon Tactix defender Zoe Walker who is on the comeback from a knee injury which has ruled her out of the ANZ Premiership for much of the season.

Walker combined with Sophia Fenwick for the first quarter before moving to the bench – as part of her managed return to the game – with Lily Marshall picking up the goal defence bib and Stacey Peeters coming on to the wing.

The trio formed an impressive defensive wall while Mainland also dictated play at the other end of the court, led by goal attack Gemma Hazeldine who added plenty of spark up front.

SEE: DRAW AND RESULTS

The former Tactix player had her hand in most plays and her connection with wing Tiana Placid ensured a steady flow of ball into the shooting circle as Mainland built on a strong second quarter.

Neither team could stamp their mark on the opening 13 minutes of play but the visitors grabbed the initiative late in the spell to lead 15-10.

And from there Mainland switched gears to take control of the game as the defensive unit forced South into errors and the front line made sure that turnover ball was converted.

They led 31-19 at half-time and absorbed a determined South in the third spell before unleashing in the final 15 minutes of play.

A string of 10 goals from Mainland mid-way through the last spell saw the scoreline blow out as South had little answer to the onslaught.

South had few problems once they got ball into the hands of shooters Isabella Masani and Georgia Heffernan, but struggled with volume as Mainland’s defence in and around the circle was relentless.

Meanwhile, the Northern Marvels came close to upsetting Waikato-BOP, going down 52-55 at The Trusts Arena in Auckland on Sunday.

They led by one goal at the main break but a six-goal advantage to the visitors in the third spell saw momentum swing Waikato-BOP’s way and they held off a fast-finishing Marvels for the win.

Results:

Mainland 57 (Jess Prosser 25/30, Gemma Hazeldine 19/26, Grace Namana 12/14, Tiana Placid 1/1) beat South 32 (Isabella Masani 16/18, Georgia Heffernan 14/21, Katherine Morris 2/5). Quarter scores: 15-10, 31-19, 43-28, 57-32.

Northern Marvels 52 (Tera-Maria Amani 37/40, Ashleigh Garner 12/19, Meretini Fuimaono 3/6) lost to Waikato-BOP 55 (Kelsey McPhee 22/23, Khiarna Williams 20/24, Amorangi Malesala 9/9, Harley Smith 4/6). Quarter scores: 13-16, 25-24, 37-42, 52-55.