Old Boys intent to hold first place

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The Old Boys premier-grade netball team is aiming to retain its first place trophy, but there are still several games to go.

The team’s final preliminary game will be held on Wednesday, with the top four teams competing in the semifinals over the following two weeks.

The final will be held on September 6.

Coach Jadie McDonald said the team had been “rebuilt” this season, with only four players returning from the previous season.

The team had taken out first place in last year’s season, she said, but it would be a close season over the coming weeks between the top four teams: Old Boys, Mackenzie, Harlequins and Pareora.

“[It is] quite a tight competition this year,” she said.

Assistant coach Hayden Newman agreed, saying the competition was tough, and “more so than any other year”.

However, with “talented team” members who got on well, the two coaches were hopeful of taking home the trophy for another year.

Old Boys was guaranteed a place in the top four after its rankings in the season, which began in April, but the coming Wednesday evening matches would determine the rankings of each of the four teams.

The team had begun pre-season training in January, holding trials in February, Mr Newman said.

The players – across all the grades from Old Boys – had been changing and mixing things up in their pre-season training, with beach runs, stair exercises and boxing within the programme, he said.

“[We were just] trying to make fitness as enjoyable as possible.”

The team now trained on Sunday afternoons, well ahead of their Wednesday evening games.

For more information on the South Canterbury netball games, visit www.netballsouthcanterbury.co.nz.