With a win under their belts, Central are keen to kick on and make further in-roads when they meet the Northern Marvels in Beko Netball League action in Auckland on Saturday.
Posting an impressive 60-36 win over South to clinch their first win of the campaign last weekend has put Central right back in the mix. There is now a cluster of four teams within a point or two of each other, making the Central vs Marvels clash a key outing.
The Marvels sit one point ahead of the visiting new-look Central team, who have taken time to find their feet, but confident they are tracking in the right direction.
``The win against South was great for the girls’ confidence and made for a positive trip back to Dunedin afterwards. Hopefully it’s the start of something and we can really kick on from here,’’ Central coach Pelesa Semu said.
``After a pretty tight, up-and-down first quarter, we just consolidated, worked really hard and pushed it right through to the end.’’
Central could be pleased with the manner of their win after the scores were level at the first quarter before unleashing to increase the remaining quarter leads to five, 15 and finally a 24-goal winning margin.
Performance-wise, the coach was particularly happy with the continuing development of the team’s through-court connections. The rapport between shooters Jermaine Howard-Vallance and schoolgirl Saviour Tui was getting better all the time while the usual appearance of Pulse players Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Renee Savai’inaea for parts of each game added strength to the midcourt.
``We were able to make some really good changes as we went along which is encouraging and helping us build while adding something really different to our mix,’’ Semu said.
``Being such a young team, there’s a real sense of just backing each other up on court and off court with this group, they are there for one another and that’s been great.’’
As with Central, the Marvels have players with experience at senior level and time spent in the Northern Mystics environment.
``They have got some experienced players,’’ Semu said. ``And that’s why this competition works, it is about development, it is about preparing these players for the next level and giving them opportunities.
``We can’t spend too much time thinking about who they will play…...our big focus is about us and just building, working on tidying up the little things we didn’t do so well.’’
Central have proved adept at turning the ball over and once the ball gets into the shooters’ hands, are accurate finishers but inconsistency on their own possession from the centre pass remains a work in progress.