Christchurch high school wins South Island netball title

Villa Maria have won the South Island national title. PHOTO: OTAGO DAILY TIMES

Villa Maria’s South Island secondary schools netball title gave their co-coaches closure 33 years in the making.

Helen Mahon-Stroud and Julie Glen were in the Villa Maria team which lost the 1985 final to Southland Girls High School.

Last Thursday, against the same school, at the same location – Dunedin’s Edgar Centre, the Villa team they now mentored triumphed 39-26.

“I guess they did us a favour by going one better than we did,” Mahon-Stroud said.

PHOTOS: OTAGO DAILY TIMES

DOMINANT: Villa Maria goal shoot Hannah Glen put in a commanding performance in the 39-26 final win over Southland Girls’ High School. Photo: Otago Daily Times.

“It’s one of those weird coincidences in life and for both of us to have daughters in the team, it was a proud moment.”

It was Villa’s first South Island title since 2008 and qualifies them for the national tournament in Timaru from October 9 to 12.

Shooter, Hannah Glen, mid-courter Georgia Stroud and defender Olivia Burnham were all named in the tournament team following the final.

Villa went undefeated at the four-day tournament winning all eight games.

Mahon-Stroud praised her team’s physical stamina to be able to produces big plays after a busy tournament.

“We tried to prepare as best we could to combat tournament-style netball,” she said.

“We had netball-related activities Monday through to Thursday for much of the Christchurch season and I think that put us in a good position for the week.”

Villa’s fitness was best seen when they produced an 11-4 third-quarter effort in the final to put one hand on the trophy.

“We really clicked in that third quarter and found our rhythm,” Mahon-Stroud said.

“We looked after the ball but played a more up-tempo style of game that we wanted to play.

“Hannah provides a tall option for us to aim at in the shooting circle and I thought our mid-court did a great job of getting the ball to her,” she said.

“I thought Southland really tried to look after the ball and were extremely patient, particularly in the first half.”

Mahon-Stroud said the team would now break for a week to focus on term three exams before training would resume.

“We are confident that we can keep them engaged up until nationals because there’s still more we want to achieve.”

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