Fool me once, shame on me, but Wanganui netballers the Spring Chicks were not going to be fooled twice as they played out finals day of the New Zealand Masters Games yesterday.
As previous gold medallists in 30+, despite only a handful still being around that age number, the ex-Marist and representative players who make up Spring Chicks had been beaten on Friday by the Hutton Sizzlers 19-17.
The Sizzlers come from around New Zealand, a team that came together while they were all living in London during the mid-2000s.
In their first Masters, not much was known about them but the Spring Chicks recovered from their initial surprise to still make the final and prevail 21-20.
An entertaining final with a style of play which could be described as hybrid was the Mixed grade, where Wanganui's Ka Ora were unseated 26-21 by Total Recall, who included in their ranks players from Wanganui, Palmerston North and even Surfers Paradise.
Total Recall placed their tall lads, who had also taken part in triathlon and basketball events over the past 10 days, in the key spots of centre, goal keep and goal shoot. The action more closely resembled a mix of netball, basketball and touch rugby as both sides were capable of long passes into the shooting circle, with jump shots the order of the day to score.
"It adds the different dynamic to the game, for sure," said Total Recall spokeswoman Lynley Walker. Her team had won six straight games on the way to the final. It was their first Masters together, although several of the women players had been to previous events with other all-female teams.
30+ competitive: Spring Chicks (Wanganui) beat Hutton Sizzlers (New Zealand-wide) 21-20.
30+ social: Walkabout Girls (Wellington) beat Die Hard Toddlers (Wellington).
40+: 10 Old Ladies (Lower Hutt/Wellington) beat Southern Legends (Masterton, Carterton) 30-15.
45+: Die Hard Seniors (Wellington) beat Red Sox Relics (Palmerston North) 19-17.
Mixed: Total Recall (Palmerston North, Wanganui, Australia) beat Ka Ora (Wanganui) 26-21.