SUCCESS: Victoria Aoake and BNC Whanau qualified for the semi-finals.BNC Whanau coach CherieAoake-Puru believed her side were in a good position heading into a semi-final rematch with Forsythes after an impressive final-round win over Nova Thunder.
BNC Whanau secured fourth placein the Newcastle open netball championship and a semi-final showdown with third-placed Forsythes next week with a 43-29 victory on Saturday at National Park.
Maryville Tavern Alize, who were a chance of leapfrogging BNC Whanau heading into the last round,lost 60-34 to second-placedSouths Lions on Saturday to finish fifth.
Elsewhere on Saturday, minor premiers West Leagues Balance defeated Junction Stella 66-19 andForsythes beat Souths Pride 32-29.
“We needed that,” Aoake-Puru said.
“We haven’t been in good form the last few weeks and we needed to put a good four quarters together, which is what the girls did. It’s good heading into finals for us.”
“We led from the first quarter, which was something we were discussing and working on all week at training, and before the game.
“It was the game plan to not come from behind like we have been.”
She said the return of premier league player Victoria Aoake, who played centre for the first three-quarters andgoal defence in the last, boosted the squad.
“Caity Lobston, Mikaela Dombkins and Lucy Geise, theyall shot into the 90 per cents, which always helps, but I think the key wasMonique Walkington,Kaitlin Harcus andDominique Murphy, that defensive end, they were really solid and shut down their shooters,” she added.
“I’ve never seen so many balls go out the back of thecourt.
“Hopefully if we can put on the same performance next week, it will be enough to get us over the line.”