Keapara step up to force stalemate with Makerupu


KEAPARA’s fast attack and solid defence enabled them to force a 18-18 draw with Makerupu in their A-grade clash in the Rigo central netball tournament at the Rita Flynn Courts in Port Moresby yesterday.
Both teams put up entertaining performances but Keapara, down 9-6 at the break, capitalised on their opponent’s ordinary defence to score vital points through goal-attack Gima Joseph.
They led 17-16 in the crucial stages of the contest until Makerupu’s Papua New Guinea Pepe Kimberly Alex levelled the scores.
As time was ticking down, Joseph was awarded a penalty by umpire Susan Kakare to edge ahead 18-17.
Moments later, Alex quickly stepped in to equalise 18-18 and save the day for her side.
Makerupu, who have one win, one draw and a loss, are hopeful that their rivals in the same pool lose their match so they qualify for the playoff.
Coach Julie Anne Diro said their defence let them down midway through the match when the opposition capitalised on their errors and turn overs, and dominated the match.
“We were lucky to come back and force the draw but Keapara were the better side on the day,” Diro said.
According to tournament director Ani Iamo, Keapara are leading pool B while Kamali head pool A with the final pool matches to be played today before the playoffs.
Rigo Netball Association president Iamo Launa said the timing for the grand finals would depend on how the day transpires.

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