Central Coast finish undefeated to claim 2015 title

Central Coast (CCN) has finished the 2015 DOOLEYS State League season undefeated to be crowned Division 7 Champions after overcoming a spirited Hills District (HDNA), 37-34, in tonight’s Grand Final at Netball Central.

The score doesn’t accurately depict the tight contest that was played out in front of spectators, with CCN only securing the win with three consecutive goals within the final 40 seconds of the match with thanks to a critical intercept off a BCNA centre pass.

Head Coach Steve Sharpe was understandably excited for CCN to not only to claim the double of 2015 Champions and Minor Premiers, but to do so in dominating form to go through the season undefeated.

“It’s actually our second [consecutive] season that we’ve gone through undefeated, which is fitting as we will probably split up [from 2016] with some of the girls going on to play in the Under-20 division of the Netball NSW Premier League,” Sharpe said.

“They’re a great bunch of girls – they train hard, do all the right things, and it’s groups like this that makes coaching easy.”

Trading goals for much of the opening quarter, it wasn’t until 10 minutes had been played before BCNA could gain ascendency by opening a small – yet handy – two goal lead. They were able to weather a strong comeback from the as-yet-undefeated CCN, however BCNA held their composure to maintain the lead at the first break.

But they couldn’t withhold CCN for much longer with the young side working hard in defence, their shooters composed under the post, to first even the scoreboard before taking the lead for the first time in the match five minutes into the second quarter.

Finding their drive CCN looked to capitalise on the swing of momentum; however BCNA were equally up to the task.  They played smart, patient ball movement in their attacking end – waiting for a gap in CCN’s defence to deliver a safe pass into their shooters.  Showing no rush, BCNA’s patience worked in their favour as they once more gained the advantage.

Still they couldn’t completely avoid CCN’s defenders who worked hard to create the turnover, equalising the scores once more as the clock ticked over quickly towards the half-time break. Locked in a see-sawing battle in the final few minutes of the first half, BCNA Goal Shooter was able to convert a penalty goal after the whistle to even the scores at 19 goals apiece at the big break.

Just as they did for the previous quarter, CCN came barnstorming out for the second half – putting up four consecutive goals to put their opposition onto the back foot. BCNA’s dry spell didn’t last too long, their defenders helping to turn over valuable possession for their shooting end to find their answer after four minutes.

However the stand-out performance was that of CCN’s Goal Keeper who was on the hunt for the long, high-ball into BCNA’s attacking third and seemed to be in every contest, not giving her opponents any space and rallying her teammates – and supporters! – in the process.

Despite their scintillating start to the quarter, CCN couldn’t prevent BCNA’s charge back as across the court their players worked hard; with three minutes on the clock they’d evened the scoreboard once more. But the purple patch was short-lived as CCN posted four unanswered goals to take a handy lead into the final 15 minutes.

An intercept from BCNA Wing Defence to turnover CCN’s first centre pass of the final quarter would set the scene to the finale of the title decider. However her attacking teammates couldn’t convert the extra possession gain, taking the pressure off CCN who scored the first goal of the term.

The margin hovered between three and four goals with BCNA unable to make any headway on the Minor Premiers lead, until slowly but surely BCNA were able to whittle the deficit down to one goal with five minutes on the clock.

The equaliser came soon after, sending spectators into a frenzy and setting up a fantastic final few minutes.  With CCN converting their next centre pass they gained advantage, only for BCNA to do the exact same moments later.

Fans were on their feet when CCN Wing Attack was able to intercept BCNA’s centre pass within the final minute – her teammates converting to send them two goals up.  Converting their final centre pass, CCN were able to finish three-goal victors is what was intense Finals netball at its finest.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
CCN│ Q1: 9 – Q2: 19 (10) – Q3: 30 (11) – Q4: 37 (7)
BCNA│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 19 (8) – Q3: 26 (7) – Q4: 34 (8)

Shooting Statistics
CCN: 37/50 @ 74%
J. McPeak: 13/15 @ 87%
A. Clark: 24/35 @ 69%

BCNA: 34/39 @ 87%
C. Cowdroy: 34/37 @ 92%
J. Stone: 0/2 @ 0%

2015 DOOLEYS State League – Division 7 Results
Tues 7 July 8:30pm Major Semi Final Central Coast 64 d Inner Western Suburbs 28
Minor Semi Final Bankstown City 46 d Baulkham Hills 33
Tues 14 July 8:30pm Preliminary Final Bankstown City 59 d Inner Western Suburbs 40
Tues 21 July 8:30pm Grand Final Central Coast 37 d Bankstown City 34