By HUXLEY LOVAI
THE Junior National Netball Championships ended last night with hosts Port Moresby dominating the tournament, winning three of the four divisions at the Rita Flynn Indoor Complex.
The Port Moresby Netball Association proved too classy for the other associations winning the Under-21, U17 and U15 titles while the Central Province Netball Association prevented the capital city association from making a clean sweep by taking the U13 honours.
The highlight of finals was the U21 decider which saw a POMNA side featuring Papua New Guinea Pepes shooter Japhet Tulapi dominate Central crushing them 41-14 in the last game of the day.
The girls from Central could not keep up with their city cousins, who displayed impressive movement and passing to pick apart their opponents.
Although team Central were on the back foot for the majority of the game they created ample scoring opportunities but it was the failure to execute those chances that let them down.
The POMNA U21 had a big advantage with players from their premier division making up most of the side.
Mermaids shooter Tulapi and Paramana’s Rowena Djengozov scored at will.
Feeding them the ball from the centre third was centres Esther Gigimat and Maimu Kala, another POMNA premier grader, who plays for the Sparrows.
Their distribution of the ball across the court was instrumental in making short work of Team Central defenders, resulting in a blowout in the score line.
Earlier in the U17 final, POMNA again took out the title overcoming Central, 25-18. In the U15s, POMNA defeated Kairuku-Hiri Netball Association19-15 and in the U13 final Central edged POMNA 18-16.
An outstanding performance by Team Central prevented POMNA taking all the silverware.
During the presentation ceremony Netball PNG president Julienne Leka-Maliaki said the spirit and enthusiasm shown by all the teams over the three-day event at the new facility.
“I want to thank our athletes and future preventatives for a fantastic and exciting three days of netball,” Leka-Maliaki said.
“Thank you to all the associations that have made it to Port Moresby to participate in the tournament, and in joining your sisters from the NCD and Central province.”
This being the first time that the junior national championship was held on its own Leka-Maliaki expressed satisfaction with overall staging of the tournament which featured more than 1000 netball players from nine member associations.
By HUXLEY LOVAI