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Champion St Margaret's College team win sixth successive Canterbury schools netball crown

St Margaret’s College reign supreme after winning the Canterbury SuperNet premier schools netball final for the sixth year running.

Coach Helen Belcher  was “absolutely stoked” after St Margaret’s beat Christchurch Girls High School 32-23 at Pioneer Stadium on Wednesday.

She said the thought of a sixth win was on her team’s mind.

“The girls have worked really hard and finals netball is always a different game, but we got there in the end,” said Belcher.

The reigning champs went out with the clear aim of securing their sixth straight win in the championship final.

However CGHS came out strongly in the first quarter with no intention of making it easy on St Margaret’s.

They used a turnover in the first minute to stream ahead, netting the first two goals.

CGHS goal defence Greer Williams showed great defence in the first quarter, taking several tumbles to gain an intercept.

Despite a strong start from CGHS, St. Margaret’s edged ahead to take the first quarter 8-7.

St. Margaret’s dominated the second quarter after CGHS ran them close in the first.

CGHS could not pull ahead despite strong defence.

St. Margaret’s instead took the opportunity to showcase their strong attacking game, particularly goal shoot Ella Wells.

Nerves started to show as CGHS shooters began to miss shots and St Margaret’s secured the rebounds to take out the second quarter 18-11.

CGHS found a second wind after the halftime interval and were fighting for the win in the third quarter.

Sam Wells (GA) and Kiah Ralph (GS) forged a fine combination for CGHS as they worked together to set up shots.

However St Margaret’s consistency proved too hard to match. They left no space open for CGHS to get in front, finishing the third quarter  with a 24-17 lead.

The final period started as a duel of two goal defences as Shana Ali (CGHS) and Lily Marshall (SMC) forced a series of intercepts.

St Margaret’s began to make errors half way through the quarter, allowing CGHS to come back.

However Marshall continued her strong defence for SMC and helped her team to surge forward again.

Despite a last minute push from CGHS, St. Margaret’s took the title by nine goals.

The SuperNet third place playoff saw St. Andrews College beat Marian College 32-25.

By Fleur Mealing, for The Press