Kurri Kurri/Hunter Flyers (KKNA) will meet their regional rivals, Newcastle, in the DOOLEYS State League Division Six Grand Final after a commanding 56-34 win over a youthful Blacktown City (BCNA) on the Show Court at Netball Central on Monday night.
After an even start by both sides, it was the more experienced KKNA who found their rhythm first, claiming a mini-break in the third minute to claim a 5-3 lead. BCNA’s connections through the midcourt struggled under the defensive pressure of KKNA, turning over valuable possession which their opponents took advantage of, extending their margin to four goals, 8-4, after nine minutes. Just as it looked like KKNA were taking a stranglehold, BCNA rallied to trail by two, 10-8, late in the quarter; however, KKNA lifted again to score four unanswered in the final two minutes to lead, 14-8, at the first break.
BCNA made two charges to their attacking third at quarter time, but they weren’t able to stem the momentum of KKNA in their own goal end, with the Hunter outfit stretching their lead to seven goals, 20-13, inside five minutes of the restart. While the middle section of the quarter was a scrappy affair by both teams, the KKNA goal keeper stamped her authority on the game with some well-timed intercepts. A time-out to the KKNA goal attack with four minutes left in the term didn’t hamper their dominance on proceedings, as the Flyers flew out to a 10-goal lead, 25-15, with 2’ 40 left until the main break. Credit to BCNA who continue to battle, getting back to back goals to reduce the margin by one, 26-17, at half-time.
Along with Newcastle, KKNA had been the form team of this year’s DOOLEYS State League Division Six competition and they showed just why as they extended their advantage at regular intervals during the third quarter, up 33-18 midway through the term. But credit to BCNA, they continued to contest every ball and went goal for goal with the Flyers until the final stages of the quarter, when last week’s Major Semi Finalists strung together four unanswered goals to lead by 19 at the final break, 41-22.
BCNA made a further two changes for the third quarter against a settled KKNA starting seven, but as they had done all game, the Flyers played controlled netball up and down the court, rarely missing their changes once in the goal circle to extend their lead to 22-goals, 49-27, inside seven minutes. With an eye on the Grand Final, KKNA made their first change of the Preliminary Final, with their wing attack coming off and in a surprise move, their goal keeper moved into the attacking circle. Special mention must go to the BCNA goal attack who was best on court in a losing team, but her tireless efforts were in vein, as City eventually succumb, 56-34, at full time.
KKNA l Q1: 14 – Q2: 12 (26) – Q3: 15 (41) – Q4: 15 (56)
BCNA l Q1: 8 – Q2: 9 (17) – Q3: 5 (22) – Q4: 12 (34)