City Pharmacy Rebels beat Sparrows 47-46

The National,Monday June 27th, 2016

THE City Pharmacy Rebels beat Credit Corp Sparrows 47-46 in a thrilling encounter that pitted some of the nation’s best netball players against each other.
As expected with the quality of players on show, the match-up brought out the best from both sets.
The game was played at a high tempo as both teams moved the ball around with quick passing as they tried to create scoring opportunities for their shooters.
The centre and goal third became the battlefield for centres Winnie Mavara of the Rebels and Sparrows Neritha Adula. As both PNG reps directed the flow of play for their teams, the Sparrows had the upper hand in the first two quarters as they successfully closed down space for the Rebels, forcing them into making wayward passes.
Kilala Owen was outstanding in defence as the Sparrows goalkeeper showed why she is the country’s number one in the position.
Owen’s footwork and tactical awareness allowed her and fellow defender Aishar Roberts to contain the Rebels shooters in PNG captain Lua Rikis and Sopo Alsop.
This was done either by blocking shots on goal or by intercepting passes. At half time Sparrows lead the Rebels 27-22.
The Rebels whose top four spot was at stake, did not lose their cool. The Rebels mid-court with the likes of Dinehello Lawrence, Velgie Gairo and Mavara began to turn the tide in favour of the women in blue.
Their positioning and determined defending denied the Sparrows the freedom they had earlier enjoyed.
Rebels goal keepers Serena Ovia and Justina Gabina and shooters Rikis and Alsop lifted in the final two quarters doing enough to help their team secure an inspiring one-point victory over the Sparrows.
Results: Prem Division – Aroma Coast Plus 49 Raukele 39, Mermaids 60 Mona 23, Telstars 47 Paramana 35.