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Alice Hamill United A Netball webUnited A’s Alice Hamill looks to receive a pass under pressure from College A’s Faith Scott during Thursday night’s semi-finals. Photo Erin TaskerCollege A and Celtic A will contest the 2019 Mid Canterbury Netball premier one final after both won close, but vastly different semi-finals at the EA Networks Centre on Thursday night.

Top-of-the-table College A took on fourth-ranked United A in the night’s first semi-final and although the underdog United side led for much of the match, the young competition favourites came through when it mattered, just edging ahead in the dying stages to take it out 38-37.

It was a dramatic finish to a drama-filled game, where neither side gave an inch from start to finish.

United just managed to get their noses in front early, leading 11-9 at the end of the first quarter, but College came out firing in the second, scoring the first three goals to lead 12-11.

United recovered and by half-time they’d restored their two-goal margin to be 23-21 up at the mid-point, but again College A came out all guns blazing in the third quarter and soon the two sides were locked at 26-all.

A late turnover gave United the slightest of edges again though, and by three-quarter time the margin was three, at 31-28.

With their season on the line, College A were determined to fight their way back, but United A weren’t going to lie down.

So started a final quarter which had the large, vocal crowd on the edges of their seats.

College drew level at 31-all, then United got out by three, before College came back to again level things up. With three minutes on the clock, it was anyone’s game, at 35-all.

With just over a minute to play, came the deciding moment.

College A nabbed a turnover and scored off it which put them one goal ahead, and from there they made the mature yet possibly slightly risky decision to just pass the ball around as the final minute ticked away.

It worked, and they held on for the win.

College A coach Kaye Kennedy said she was incredibly proud of her young side.

“I was really proud of the way the girls just managed to keep their cool in that last little bit when we were down, because there was a lot of crowd noise and it could have gone either way.

“We could’ve absolutely lost our heads and turned the ball over, but we didn’t,” Kennedy said.

After the excitement died down from that game, the two versus three semi-final then pitted the defending champions Celtic A against a Hampstead A side they’d lost to in the season’s third and final championship round.

While it wasn’t the best performance of the season by either side, with both struggling to turn possession into points at times, Celtic A held on to take it out 24-22 to secure the second spot in next Saturday’s final.

Celtic A coach Ange Leadley said it was a great team effort.

“It was good to step it up another notch and see some things that we have been practising definitely put out on the court, and I think that the determination of the girls really stood out for me,” Leadley said.

In the night’s other premier one match, Methven A’s disappointing season came to a close with their second loss to Mt Somers, 28-25, in the play-off for fifth.

Meanwhile, in the premier two semi-finals, top qualifiers Celtic B took on College B and came away with a 36-27 win. They will now go on to face Southern A in the premier two final, after the Southern girls came through to beat Methven B 35-22 in the other semi.

In the premier two play-off for fifth, Hampstead B just beat Celtic C 36-34.

Both games will be be played on an all-inclusive Mid Canterbury Netball finals day on Saturday August 24, as opposed to premier’s usual Thursday night.

By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 16 August 2019

Will Joyce College Basketball web2 650x700Looking to get past a Lincoln High School player during a sporting exchange between the two schools on Monday was Ashburton College’s Will Joyce. Joyce and his senior boys’ basketball team mates picked up a win, on what was a pretty good day for the home sides all around. Photo supplied.Winning all bar one of the battles on court set Ashburton College up for a narrow win in an annual sporting exchange with Lincoln High School on Monday.

Ashburton College took the victory 7-6 after dominating when it came to the sports that played out indoors, while Lincoln had the edge outside under the surprisingly blue skies.

A bad forecast meant that when the youngsters left school for the weekend on Friday, there was a good chance of weather stopping the exchange from going ahead, but after a cold and wet weekend Monday’s skies dawned clear.

And the visitors made the most of the fine conditions, with Lincoln winning both of the day’s football encounters with relative ease.

The Lincoln boys won 5-1 at the Ashburton Domain while the Lincoln girls beat their Ashburton College counterparts 11-0.

It was a similar story on the hockey turf, with the Lincoln hockey girls keeping the home side scoreless and winning 8-0, while the Lincoln boys won 4-1.

Lincoln did suffer one loss outside, though, with the under-15 rugby battle at Celtic going the way of Ashburton College 36-14.

The Lincoln side did pick up a couple of wins indoors, too, taking out the table tennis 5-1 and the senior girls’ basketball 47-41.

But that basketball win was the only one Lincoln picked up of the seven games that played out at the EA Networks Centre.

There were four basketball games played all-up, with Ashburton College taking out the senior boys’ game 66-47 and the junior girls’ game 45-32, before the junior boys picked up the biggest win of the day, 95-33.

Three netball games were also contested and all three went the way of the Ashburton College sides, although they were close.

The College B girls won 25-21, while the year 10A girls won 24-21 and the year 9A girls just managed to sneak the win 31-30.

By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 13 August 2019

Current Events Quiz Max Clarke webAshburton College’s Max Clarke, Sam Orr and Seb McMillan (all 13) claimed first place, beating two other Ashburton College teams for the top spot. Photo supplied.It was an evening of Ashburton domination at Thursday night’s Years 9-10 Otago Daily Times Extra! Central South Island current events quiz, as Ashburton College claimed all three top spots.

Team 13’s Max Clarke, Sam Orr and Seb McMillan, from the college, won first place in the inter-school event, answering 86 of 110 current events questions correctly.

They were followed by Team 21 from Ashburton College, which scored 79 points to take second, while Team 7 from the school was third with 78.

Hosted at Timaru Girls’ High School hall on Thursday night, the Years 9-10 event followed the Years 5-6 and Years 7-8 quizzes, which were held in the town on Wednesday evening.

While Timaru schools had dominated Wednesday’s events, Ashburton claimed the top spots on Thursday night.

There were 20 teams from schools in Oamaru, Timaru and Ashburton competing in the quiz, often with multiple teams entered from each school.

Spot prizes were also given out following a quiz section featuring answers found in the Otago Daily Times.

Participants were asked to fold their newspapers back to the highest standard they could, in exchange for a spot prize for the best.

While one Ashburton College team’s entry looked like a bundle of newsprint ready to light a fire, another team from the school was rewarded for their newspaper reconstruction efforts.

The Central South Island quiz, held in Timaru, follows similar events held in Christchurch earlier this week, and precedes other contests to be held around Otago later in the year.

The quizzes are run by the Otago Daily Times, through Extra!, its monthly Newspapers in Education publication for primary, intermediate and junior secondary school pupils.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 10 August 2019