By EREBIRI ZURENUOC
THE Port Morersby Netball Association claimed the senior titles at the 2018 Newcrest Mining National Netball Championships in Lae yesterday with a 41-22 win over Lae in the A grade and a 24-19 in B grade.
The finals at Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium courts in Lae were competitive since the senior competition started on Saturday with 20 teams from 13 associations.
Four teams stood out — Lae 2 and POMNA in the B grade and Lae and POMNA in the A grade.
In the B grade final, the first half saw POMNA’s Tania Maha and Vagi Iru scoring goals securing a two-point lead.
Despite the efforts of Lae shooter Ila Sioni and goal attack Jenny Magatu, POMNA led 14-12 at halftime. The second half saw POMNA kicked on to win by a five-goal margin. POMNA goal-keeper Toka Aua and defender Winnie Mavara played kept Lae at bay particularly in the final quarter.
In the A grade final, POMNA’s centre Athalia Kila and wing attack Jacklyn Lahari combined to get their side into a strong position in crucial moments of the decider.
POMNA’s Evaneua Aua (GA) and Jeperth Tulapi (GS) helped themselves to a swag of goals to see their side take a 24-14 in the first half.
Lae came back in the second half, with Falicitha Uru and Ana Aua scoring goals and keeping their score ticking over.
POMNA coach Richanda Kassman unloaded her bench of Alexandria Ligo and Mary Leka injecting energy and enthusiam to finish strongly. Lae centre Nerrie Adula, wing attack Daniella Ila and wing defender Fidelma Bob lifted to put eight points on the board but it was not enough as POMNA scored 22 points to finish on top.
Coach Kassman commended her team for keeping their composure and executing their plan.
“We’ve got a young side. Players like Alexandria (Ligo), Mary Leka, and Anna (Aua) stepped up in the final,” Kassman said.
Kassman also commended her team’s senior players in Serena Ovia, Jacklyn Lahari, Shanna Dringo and Jeperth Tulapi who supported the team well.
By EREBIRI ZURENUOC