Delighted Comets net first Beko Netball League win
Northern Comets captain Kirsten Dickson admits her team surprised even themselves by leading from the front en route to their first Beko Netball League win.
The Comets beat the Southern Blast 57-44 at Pulman Arena in Auckland on Sunday to lift them off the bottom of the league ladder.
The convincing win came off the back of a strong rebounding effort at both ends of the court and their ability to absorb the pressure applied by the Blast in patches.
Dickson was delighted to net the points and said it had been something her side had been building towards.
“We had half a good game against Central and then three quarters against Waikato last week so I think that’s probably our first full 60 minute effort so we’re really happy with that.”
But they were forced to withstand a number of charges from the Blast and Dickson said they let their opponent back into the game.
“I think when we were up we actually surprised ourselves and we should have kept pushing on,” she said. “We let them back in the game a couple of times so hopefully we can keep going forward.”
Both teams were desperate for the win – the Comets on the hunt for their first victory this season while the Blast needed maximum points to stay in touch with the league’s top two sides.
But the opening minutes were error ridden with a high turnover rate leading to a low scoring affair.
The Comets were the first to find their rhythm as they came from three goals down to lead 14-9 at the break.
Goal keep Oceane Maihi made her presence felt early on and was a continuous thorn in the Blast’s forward line. She snaffled five intercepts, 11 deflections and seven rebounds in an impressive outing.
At the other end of the court Christie Anderson was the go-to in the shooting circle as the Comets steadily built a scoreboard advantage, both Nadia Loveday and Dickson delivering quality ball to the strong target.
Dickson was also a workhorse through the middle and alongside Rahnee Wakefield were a driving force for the Comets as they went into the main break with a 28-21 lead.
A rejuvenated South side emerged from the changing rooms to challenge the Comets again and within five minutes of play the gap had been slashed to just two goals.
It prompted Comets coach Kathy Henry to inject Anderson back into the game as the hosts’ composure was restored along with their lead.
The defensive unit was relentless in the pressure applied to the Blast’s attack, snuffing out a number of options and keeping the ball out of the hands of South’s main shooter Georgia Heffernan.
Northern Comets 57 (Christie Anderson 43/50, Ivana Rowland 6/14, Vika Koloto 8/10) beat Southern Blast 44 (Hannah Riddle-Pelchen 15/22, Georgia Heffernan 24/33, Holly Munro 5/6). Quarter scores: 14-9, 28-21, 41-34, 57-44.
Hellers Mainland 45 (Grace Namana 3/4, Hannah Glen 8/11, Jess Prosser 27/33, Tiana Placid 7/7) lost to Waikato-BOP 58 (Khiarna Williams 45/50, Braxton Ti Riini 1/1, Eden Anderson 2/3, Asher Grapes 10/13). Quarter scores: 8-13, 21-30, 35-45, 45-58.