Ma’aleh Adumim, boasting several former national team players, had no difficulty in beating Modi’in in the first half of the season by 39-15, but had more difficulty putting away its rival when the two teams met again last Thursday.
Ma’aleh Adumim had the upper hand to begin with, leading by 11-5 at the end of the first quarter and by 19-10 at halftime. However, Modi’in came back very strongly and in the third quarter scored 10 goals to Ma’aleh Adumim’s 8. In the very close final quarter, almost five minutes passed before the first goal was scored and at the final whistle, with both teams having scored only four goals each, the scoreboard showed 31-24 in Ma’aleh Adumim’s favor.
There is no doubt that Batya Tchelet, who only recently turned 15 and thus became eligible to participate in the league, contributed significantly to Modi’in’s much improved performance. Playing center, she accomplished some very impressive intercepts and definitely has a bright future in netball. Her mother, Natalie, who is also on the Modi’in team, can be very proud of her and Batya’s three younger sisters, who are also avid netballers.
In the second match of the evening, Jerusalem Mercaz faced Ra’anana, which it had beaten in the first round by 43-40. While both teams have won gold medals in the past, Ra’anana was the one playing catch-up for most of the game. At the end of the first quarter, Jerusalem only had a one-goal lead (10-9), but stretched that lead to make it 22-18 at halftime. Like Modi’in in the first game, Ra’anana played very well in the third quarter and scored the same number of goals (10) as Jerusalem, but was outplayed in the final quarter, losing the match 44-36.
The results of the two remaining matches this season, Tel Aviv vs. Ra’anana and Katamon vs. Modi’in, will not change the standings, so on June 11, Jerusalem Mercaz will vie with Ma’aleh Adumim for the bronze medal, while the Katamon youngsters will make every effort to topple Tel Aviv from the top spot and take the title for the first time. Both games will take place in Modi’in.