City of Sydney book their place in Grand Final

Minor Premiers City of Sydney/Sydney University are one step closer to completing the double, overcoming a spirited Eastwood Ryde, 55-41, in the Major Semi Final to book their place in the 2015 DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup Grand Final.

It was a tight contest for much of the 60 minutes, but having come into the Finals Series with momentum – claiming six wins from their last seven appearances – City of Sydney were able to hold strong to advance directly to the title decider on Wednesday 24 June.

Eastwood’s season isn’t over, with the 2013 Champions given a second chance of making the Grand Final when they meet Sutherland Shire next Wednesday 17 June in the Preliminary Final.  Sutherland were able to keep their season alive with a hard-fought 59-47 victory over reigning Champions St George.

It was an unfortunate end for St George’s season, with the side unable to catch Sutherland despite putting up a strong performance.

Major Semi Final: City of Sydney/Sydney Uni 55 d Eastwood Ryde 41

Whilst both ends were firing, the contest was won in the midcourt with both sides displaying a strong hands-over defence to create the turnover.  City of Sydney (CSNA) made the most of their possession gains, capitalising where it mattered most: on the scoreboard.  Despite Eastwood Ryde’s (ERNA) efforts, they trailed the Minor Premiers by three at the first break.

But a fired up Eastwood entered the court for the second quarter, determined to chase down the narrow deficit. Players threw themselves into every contest, with Centre Emily Keenan working tirelessly in defence and backing it up to provide strong feeds into her shooters.

However City of Sydney showed why they finished top of the Waratah Cup ladder, staying calm under pressure to find their shooter – 196cm Kristina Brice – in the circle. It was a thoroughly entertaining contest between duo Keenan and Nikki Deegenaars (CSNA); both centres showing terrific speed and athletic ability.

The intensity continued into the second half with both teams continuing to entertain spectators at Netball Central with quality netball.  City of Sydney adopted a midcourt zone, confusing the space for Eastwood’s attackers.

But 2014 Runners-Up Eastwood used patience and experience to work the ball through the zone, and by halfway through the third quarter had back to within three goals.  However CSNA never relinquished their pressure, with the tactic soon suffocating Eastwood’s speed down the court.

After turning over two consecutive opposition centre passes, CSNA pushed ahead to extend their lead to seven goals at the final break.

Not one to lie down, Eastwood came out with intent for the final 15 minutes looking to play.  Aiming to score quickly Eastwood looked to move the ball with speed; but City of Sydney were equally up to the challenge.  Goal Defence Billie Gurr was in everything – chasing down loose ball and getting her fingertips for high feeds bound for the Eastwood shooters.

With Brice and GA Georgia Marshall combining well in the circle, City of Sydney made it count where it hurt Eastwood most – the scoreboard – and with the clock ticking down Eastwood were quickly running out of time.

The result saw City of Sydney finish the match strongly, claiming a 14 goal victory to secure their place in the 2015 title-decider, while sending Eastwood Ryde into the sudden-death Preliminary Final next Wednesday 17 June against Sutherland Shire.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
CSNA│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 23 (12) – Q3: 37 (14) – Q4: 55 (18)
ERNA│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 17 (9) – Q3: 30 (13) – Q4: 41 (11)

 

Minor Semi Final:  Sutherland Shire 59 d St George 47

There was plenty of defensive pressure from both sides from the outset, with their 2015 season on line as only the winner would advance to next week.  St George (StGNA) began the match strongly, with their shooter Kimberly Borger utilising her impressive vertical jump to be a strong target in the circle.

However down the other end Mel Tallent was equally as impressive, using her experience to help set up play for Sutherland (SSNA) whilst also being handy under the post.  By working the ball patiently through St George’s strong defence, Sutherland began to find momentum – the result seeing them take a handy three goal lead into the first break.

The contest continued into the second term as St George entered the court determined to chase down the deficit; however Sutherland had other plans.  It was a battle of the holding shooters as both side’s feeders fed some beautiful high ball into their circles.

While St George tried to move the ball quickly, Sutherland’s hands-over defence was intense and created turnovers for their shooters to capitalise. The result saw the 2012 Waratah Cup Champions extend their lead to seven goals at the big break.

The strong defensive pressure continued into the second half with no easy pass into either shooting circle.  Sutherland in particular struggled after Moira Gaha introduced two tall defenders for the third quarter.  Defensive midcourters Amy Parmenter (WD) and Belynda Loveday (C) did well to assist St George’s circle, providing strong hands over the feed to give their teammates an early look at the intercept.

Their shooters didn’t let them down, outscoring Sutherland 14 goals to 12 in the third quarter to claw back the deficit; defending Champions St George trailing by five at the final break.

With their season on the line, Sutherland came out with intent to finish the final quarter strongly.  Whatever St George threw at them, Sutherland had an answer and with the clock ticking over the 2015 Premiers made changes to dispel their oppositions hold on the game.

The final result proved much more comfortable for Sutherland than the match played out, defeating St George by 12 goals to keep their 2015 Finals hopes alive.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
StGNA│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 23 (12) – Q3: 37 (14) – Q4: 47 (10)
SSNA│ Q1: 14 – Q2: 30 (16) – Q3: 42 (12) – Q4: 59 (17)

 

2015 DOOLEYS State League – Waratah Cup Finals Series
Wed 10 June 8:30pm Major Semi Final City of Sydney/Syd Uni 55 d Eastwood Ryde 41
    Minor Semi Final Sutherland Shire 59 d St George 47
Wed 17 June 8:30pm Preliminary Final Eastwood Ryde v Sutherland Shire
Wed 24 June 7:00pm Grand Final City of Sydney/Syd Uni v Winner Prelim Final