Christchurch recovered from a sluggish start in their second match of the day to remain unbeaten and one of the frontrunners at the Lion Foundation Netball Champs in Dunedin.

But the win could come at a cost for Christchurch with Jane Watson injuring her left ankle in the dying stages of the match. Watson tweaked her ankle and left the court, but all indications are she will continue on in the tournament.

In a line-up which is arguably the strongest of the tournament on paper, Christchurch found themselves guilty of watching North Harbour, and coach Margaret Foster wasted no time making sweeping changes at the first break, injecting Hayley Saunders into wing defence to combine with defenders Watson and Zoe Walker in the circle. Ellen Halpenny moved from goal shoot into goal attack, switching with Julianna Naoupu and providing more movement in the circle as a result.

And the effects were evident within minutes on the score sheet with Christchurch giving themselves a ten point buffer, out to a 33-23 lead at halftime.

Up and coming youngster and new Northern Mystics signing Temalisi Fakahokotau was the star performer for North Harbour in the first half, making Halpenny and Naoupu do a mountain of work.

Mid-courters Keshia Grant and Maree Bowden combined strongly to provide key support in the middle third as the teams’ confidence allowed them to let the ball go with ease.

North Harbour goal attack Malia Paskea was given a rest at halftime and Harbour coach Yvonne Willering changed around her line-up too, trying to find an answer to thwart the opposition.

Experienced mid-courter and Christchurch captain Maree Bowden made her presence known and will be a key part of the Christchurch dynamic as they attempt to go deep into the tournament.

Christchurch have one match scheduled for Tuesday, a must-win encounter against defending champions Otago A at 5.30pm.

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