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Ashburton College’s team of gun shooters have had to settle for second spot at the national secondary schools’ shoot in Wellington.
Held last weekend, the national event saw the Ashburton trio of Shania Harrison-Lee (captain), Emma Smith and Charlotte McKenzie line up against 20 other teams from schools around the country at the Royal Tiger Range in Newtown, to contest the Eddie Love Cup.
After leading for two-thirds of the match, Ashburton College was just pipped at the post by Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
Team manager Nina McKenzie said with two experienced members and a new face, the team worked with real determination to achieve a fantastic result among very strong, and experienced, competition from around the country.
After the three target (300.30) schools’ match, the top 12 qualifiers from each island were selected for the their respective island teams, with all three Ashburton College members being selected for the South Island team to compete against the North, in a two target match (200.20).
Harrison-Lee captained the South side that was narrowly pipped by the North, but from the aggregate of those matches the New Zealand Secondary team was selected, and Harrison-Lee and Smith were both selected, with Harrison-Lee again the captain.
The New Zealand team then had a postal shoot against the Great Britain schools’ team, the results of which are not yet known, while the other competitors shot a plate match in a variety of selected teams.
The national secondary schools’ shoot completed the indoor season for Target Shooting Mid Canterbury’s secondary members, but already they are thinking about going back to go one better at next year’s event, which will be hosted in Blenheim.
© The Ashburton Guardian - 5 October 2019
Maintaining momentum has been the key for Ashburton College’s A netballers since they qualified for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Netball Championships.
And it hasn’t been easy, given the time that’s elapsed since they gained qualification by finishing fourth at the South Island event. That was back in early September and the national event starts on Tuesday – more than a month later – at the same venue as the South Island tournament, in Nelson.
That South Island tournament came just a few days after College A claimed the Mid Canterbury Netball premier one crown with a win over Celtic A in the final. The young College girls were playing a lot of netball, and playing it well.
But that was essentially the end of the regular netball season. So with that place sealed at the national tournament, the Kaye Kennedy-coached side needed game time and set about finding some.
Now, just a couple of days out from the tournament getting under way in Nelson, they’re as ready as they’ll ever be.
They’ve played in a mini-tournament with the three other Canterbury teams that qualified for nationals, local players have helped out by providing games and on Thursday night they finished their build-up with a game at Ashburton’s EA Networks Centre against another nationals contender, St Margarets, who has former Silver Fern Julie Seymour as part of their coaching line-up.
It was a game played over six 10-minute periods and for Kennedy it wasn’t about the score, it was about getting things right before the biggest test in the young playing careers of the Ashburton College girls.
Ashburton College will play Whanganui High School – the team that finished third in the lower North Island tournament – on Tuesday morning, followed by what will be their toughest test in the afternoon. Their pool – pool A – includes the upper North Island tournament winners, St Kentigern College, and Ashburton College have them in game two.
They’ll then finish pool play against Epsom Girls’ Grammar School – the team that came fifth in the upper North Island tournament – on Wednesday, before the tournament heads into cross over play, with all roads leading to the big final on Friday at 1.40pm.
Kennedy said her team has goals, but rather than where they finish, their goals related more to how many goals they want to score each quarter and limiting the opposition.
Going to nationals is a fantastic opportunity and while the College girls know it will be tough, they’re determined to give it their all.
“We aren’t just going up there for the experience, we want to perform well,” Kennedy said.
For the side’s Year 13 players, the national event will be the final time they play netball for their school and the team want to do well for them, and for themselves.
“It may be the only time that most of these players will get that opportunity, so we’ve got to make the most of it,” Kennedy said.
“We just need to go into every game and take it to them, and try our best.”
Ashburton College last attended the nationals in 2017, when another team pulled out, but until this year, the last time they’d officially qualified was in 2002.
By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 5 October 2019
More than 60 riders were greeted by perfect spring conditions when they went to the line for the Tinwald Cycling Club’s first event of the season on Sunday.
The season opened with the Health 2000, Dpi/EmbroidMe graded scratch race, around the Christys Road block on Sunday, where A and B grade riders raced over 36km, and C and D grade battled it out over 27km.
Fresh off a second placing in the Twizel-Timaru Classic, Oliver Davidson secured the first win of the season in A grade, riding the distance in 52.08 minutes.
Tony Ward was in the thick of the sprint finish to take second place, with Nigel Douglas and Brad Hudson rounding out the top four
It was also a bunch finish in B grade, with Caitlin Titheridge showing a clean set of heels in the charge to the line to lift the winner’s trophy, covering the distance in 56.31 minutes.
Matt Marshall stormed home to take second place honours, while John Uden and Tinwald’s club captain Kevin Opele showed good early season form, filling third and fourth places respectively.
Roger Wilson kicked his season off in the best possible way taking victory in C grade.
Wilson rode the course in 44.00 minutes, while in another tight finish Larry Neal charged into second place, with Don Morrison and Shona McGrath-Proctor taking the minor spoils.
Veteran Tony McManus saw off all challengers on his way to victory in D grade, recording a time of 47.59 minutes, while sisters Amy Ferguson and Nicole Hands produced top rides to fill the final two podium positions.
Ferguson secured family bragging rights this week, getting up to take second place, while Dave Shurrock rounded out the top four.
Meanwhile, the junior A graders competed over 18km with the B graders covering 9km.
Maddie Lowry showed her strength, taking A grade honours after riding the distance in 31.31 minutes, while Zoe Spillane put up a good fight to take second place, with Mitch Brookland third.
First timers James Reid and Cooper Spillane went to the line in B grade, and Reid produced a great race to take the trophy, riding the course in 20.10, with Cooper Spillane showing plenty of fight on his way to second place.
In division two, Hillary Singlewood saw off all challengers to secure victory.
This Sunday the club will contest a 32km handicap event, racing around the Wakanui Beach block.
© The Ashburton Guardian - October 2019