By HUXLEY LOVAI
MERMAIDS edged Sparrows by a single goal, 43-42, to claim a thrilling win in the top-of-the-table clash in the Port Moresby Netball Association competition on Saturday.
The highlight of the premier division match was the contest between Sparrows goal-defenders Kilala Owen, Aishar Roberts and Mermaids shooters Japhet Tulapi and Rayleen Andrew.
Both sets of players engaged in contest, with Owen in particular using her footwork and finesse to restrict shots on goal.
Andrew got the job done for her team with her relentless efforts in front of goal.
It proved to be the difference as the Mermaids held on to the narrowest of victories.
Across the court, players on both sides were unwilling to give an inch to their opponents.
Controlling play in the centre for Mermaids was Kila Leka, her control of the ball permitting her team-mates in the centre third Eloise Vele and Nancy Kapito to make free flowing passes.
The Mermaids dominance of the first quarter was underlined by their shooters Tulapi and Andrew’s outstanding form in front of goal.
At the end of the first quarter, Mermaids led 13-8.
Sparrows made some changes in the second quarter which improved their movement across the court — Aivu Logona came in at centre while shooter Stacey Hareamai joined the action.
The duo had an immediate impact on the game as the Sparrows lifted in attack and defence to close the margin. At half-time, Mermaids still led 24-21.
Despite the Sparrows spirited fightback, it was not be as they slumped to their second defeat in as many weeks.
Results: Mermaids 43 Sparrows 42, Telstars 57 Aroma Coast 29, Rebels 84 Raukele 30, Paramana won by forfeit over Mona.
By HUXLEY LOVAI