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South take aim at Beko Netball League leading teams

Maintaining momentum will be the focus for South when they return to the Beko Netball League with their first win under the belt.

They netted their first victory this season when they beat the Northern Marvels last week and are at home again on Sunday when they play Heller’s Mainland at More FM Arena in Dunedin.

South co-coach Donna Wilkins said the seven-goal win over the Marvels was a timely confidence boost after pushing other teams in the earlier rounds.

“It was really awesome for the girls,” she said. “Apart from our game against Central we have been within a couple of goals and it’s only a few lulls during a game which have let us down.

“I think we’ve seen glimpses of what we can do but we showed against the Marvels that we know how to finish a game which is really important.”

She said it hadn’t been difficult to keep the team motivated despite struggling to get the points on the Beko Netball League ladder.

“We’ve got such a young team and it’s only time on court that builds that experience,” she said.

“The pleasing thing is seeing them take what we are practicing onto the netball court.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love to win and first and foremost that is our goal. But it is satisfying to see the progress that’s being made.”

They have already seen Kendall McMinn, Teneisha Fifita, and Kate Heffernan experience court time in the ANZ Premiership for the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel.

Heffernan has since been called up by the Steel to replace mid-courter Dani Gray who suffered an ACL knee injury last month.

“We watched Teneisha, Kendall and Kate come on for the Steel and helped them close out a tough game against the Tactix which, as a coach, was really good to see.”

Sunday will be the first time they’ve met Mainland in the Beko Netball League this year but they had played their netballing neighbours in two pre-season matches.

“We won a game each but it was pre-season which counts for little,” Wilkins said. “The good thing is that we’ve seen a bit of them; know their players and it’s not the complete unknown for us when we get on court.”

The former Silver Fern believed their first win could be the impetus they needed to challenge the teams at the top of the table.

“For us it’s about consolidating from last week,” she said. “We get a lot of turnover ball which we can score off but then on our own centre pass we don’t seem to be able to make them pay.”

“We need to be ruthless with the ball is probably the big one for us and cut out those personal errors.”

Meanwhile, in other matches, the Northern Marvels host the Waikato-BOP at The Trusts Arena in Auckland on Saturday and Central, who sit on top of the league ladder, are at home to the Northern Comets at Lower Hutt on Sunday.