‘It wasn’t the prettiest but we got there in the end’

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Knapdale Men’s netball team has cemented its first win at home.

The side beat St Mary’s 48-35 in the Southland Wide Men’s League at the Gore Multisports Complex on Thursday.

Manager and player Hamish McDonald was happy with the win but it was far from the team’s best outing.

“We had a few injuries and no substitutes, and playing on the concrete ground is a bit different.

“I’m really proud of the boys, though. We ground it out and it wasn’t the prettiest but we got there in the end,” McDonald said.

The side played against Dunedin Men and had Southland trials in the days before the game, he said.

“There was about five games in four days – it was hard.”

Knapdale got out to an early lead against St Mary’s but St Mary’s came back fighting.

Goal shoot Sam Dixon held strong in the back, repositioning to allow easy space for centre Adam Newton to feed the ball in.

Dixon was ably assisted by goal attack Harry Swain.

“Harry and Sam have a really good combo for us at the back.

“They’ve got great determination and it’s really good for their first year together,” he said.

Knapdale had strong run in patches but could not shake St Mary’s, which was quick to the ball and smothering on defence.

Defender Jared Stark was vital, picking balls out of the pocket and using his height to his advantage.

In the third quarter, Knapdale hit its straps and was able to push its lead out to take the game.

“It was one of the closest games we’ve had,” McDonald said.

Knapdale would face Collegiate in this week’s game.

“They’re a pretty strong team. They’ve got a few good defenders.”

Allowing for better flow of the ball would be key, he said.

“Getting working ball, we went backwards a bit in the St Mary’s game, probably because of fatigue, so we’ll look to get better flow through court.”