Hautapu calms the Fury

Hautapu Premier players celebrate their win over SPFC Fury at St Peter’s School.

Hautapu Sports club is on a roll after its top netball team beat SPFC Fury to take out the New World Cambridge Netball Centre premier championships.

The victory came just over a week after the club’s premier rugby team defeated Ōtorohanga to clinch the Waikato Breweries Shield for the second year running.

Lynda Cooper, who has coached Hautapu Premier for 10 years, was “thrilled” with her players, particularly as they hadn’t been able to train together this season.

“Because we’ve got mums with young families and some girls who live away from Cambridge, training was not going to be an easy option anymore, so we thought right, we’ll wing it,” she said.

“I think our defensive game tonight was awesome in the turnover ball and we showed some lovely flair on attack, which gave the shooters some fabulous opportunity to finish. Everybody gave 100 per cent so it was a total team effort to take this win.”

Captain Rebecca Greenhalgh, who was “absolutely stoked” with the result, said it proved “old heads can win at netball”.

“It’s a thinking game just as much as a physical running game,” she said.

The former New Zealand touch rugby and Waikato netball representative sent a “massive thanks” to team manager Tina Kara, Sheryl Mabey and Hautapu club captain Amy Purchase.

“Amy’s really rallied with Level 2 and not being allowed supporters, we had tons and tons of messages on our group page from the Hautapu rugby captain and those boys and the club and they were all down at the clubrooms tonight watching it live-streamed,” Greenhalgh said.

“We really felt the love from the Hautapu community and that’s been awesome.”

SPFC Fury coach Jordan Higgie said despite the loss his team were feeling “very good”.

“First and foremost, massive congratulations to Hautapu Premier for their finals win,” he said.

“For us it was an occasion of absolute pride to come together eight months prior in our inaugural period as a group and be able to execute a well-rounded season’s performance, unbeaten to the final, and then ultimately matching up against a pinnacle club team in Hautapu Premier, a team that we set benchmarks to be able to compete against.

“Experience won in the end, however SPFC Fury cap the season feeling invigorated by the prospect of challenging that top spot in 2021.”

Leamington beat NUSC Pulse 34-21 in the third place playoff to cap a successful season. The team featured in several Cambridge Netball Centre statistics, notably receiving the least number of cautions and warnings.

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