Whalsay 29 V Kiwis 28

Kiwis had the stronger start with good teamwork and communication, particularly with Sanna Aitkin WA working the ball well through the court to GS Dawn Manson who rarely missed a shot. This was reflected in the score as they gained an early 4 goal lead. Whalsay stepped up their effort to get back into the game which resulted in end to end play with both teams evenly matched. Kiwis maintained their lead to finish the first quarter 11-7 in their favour.

Both sides made some changes to switch up their game. Whalsay regrouped and started with more fire, drawing themselves back into the game. Kiwis took time to settle into their changes which Whalsay capitalised on through great intercepts by GD Shelley Anderson. Whalsay equalised and both sides fought hard for possession which saw the ball travelling from end-to-end with neither side finished off with a goal. As the time counted down, Whalsay managed to scrape ahead to 14-13.

Kiwis made changes again to bring fresh legs into the game. This worked in their favour as they piled the pressure on Whalsay’s midcourt, forcing them to make errors. Keeping calm, Whalsay worked the ball around and with confident shooting by Debbie Smith GA and Karis Leask GS they increased their lead. Kiwis were linking well but were unlucky not to increase their score due to the intensity of the game. Whalsay’s C Catherine Williamson displayed her exceptional fitness to gain essential touches and intercepts in defence before quickly driving play forward to their attack. Whalsay gained the upper hand going into the final quarter 23-18.

Kiwis switched around again to add the pressure to a tiring Whalsay. With fantastic defending by Kim Johnson GD and Natalie Stevens GK saw Kiwis claw back the score. Good movement and linking by Kiwis GA Rhianne Johnson and GS Alina Murray made it difficult for Whalsay’s defence to break play which drew Kiwis back level with Whalsay. With neither side relenting it was an intense battle on court for possession. The ball continued end-to-end, both sides eager for the lead. With great patience Whalsay managed to work the ball into the circle where the shooters finished off tiring play with a goal. With little time left Kiwis pushed hard to equalise but Whalsay held on until the final whistle for the win of 29-28. A great game from both sides with no clue as to who would finish on top.

Players of the match were Kim Johnson for Kiwis and Shelley Anderson for Whalsay.