By HUXLEY LOVAI
A superb effort by Sparrows on Wednesday night earned them a win over Paramana 36-33 in the tier one clash of the fourth round in the Port Moresby Netball Association’s premier division.
Sparrows had the advantage with their passing and movement in the first and second quarters as their players glided past their opponents in the centre and goal third. Centre Nerita Adula combined well with wing attack Maima Kala as they fed their shooters to keep the Paramana defenders on their toes.
Sparrows’ shooters Stacey Haeremai and Joyce Nao made their team’s advantage count in front of goal while at the other end, defenders Kilala Owen and Alu Gulo-Vui made things difficult for the Paramana shooters in the goal circle.
However, the class and experience of Paramana allowed them to counter Sparrows’ dominance to claw their way back giving them a one point lead at half time (18-17).
It was due to their shooters form, as Marie Ottio and Rowena Djengozov kept Paramana in the match.
The inclusion of experienced campaigners Dianne Lahari and Naomi Leka in the final two quarters helped to maintain Sparrows’ hold on the game, eventually securing the three-point victory.
Sparrows head coach Julienne Leka told The National: “At the end of the day it was our defence that won us the game and our shooting averages where pretty high.
“From the stats I’ve seen our shooters Stacy Haeremai scored at 65 per cent and Joyce Nao was at 80 per cent,” Leka said
She highlighted the contributions of the younger players in the side, saying it was important to give them the exposure.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement in Stacy Haeremai, Aishar Roberts and Alu Gulo-Vui,” Leka said.
“I think it is important for them to start them in more matches to gain experience.”
Results: Tier 1 – Mermaids 51 Telstars 38; Tier 2 – Veupunama 36 Mona 32, Rebels 51 Raukele 37.
By HUXLEY LOVAI