The DOOLEYS State League Division Three Semi Finals were contested on the evening of Monday 2 September at the Anne Clark Centre, with Randwick winning their way straight through to the Grand Final.
First on court at the home of Netball NSW was the Minor Semi Final featuring Northern Suburbs, who finished the regular season in third and St George in fourth.
Northern Suburbs got off to a flyer, posting the first three goals of the game inside the first two minutes, extending their lead to 9-4 midway through the term. However, a determined St George outfit rallied with five goals straight to finish the quarter only one goal behind, 11-10.
In front of a vocal crowd, the two teams went goal for goal during the second quarter, until Northern Suburbs finished with a flurry to extend their halftime lead to four, 22-18.
St George made a series of personnel and positional changes during the main break, which paid dividend, clawing their way back to level the scores, 26-all with five minutes left in the quarter. The side from Sydney’s south continued to grow in confidence, with a noticeable lift in intensity to pull away to a four goal lead at three-quarter time, 31-27.
During the regular season, both sides played out two close contests and this game proved to be yet another tight encounter. With a place in the Preliminary Final on the line, Northern Suburbs started the final quarter with a five goal run, reclaiming the lead 32-31. Neither team were giving an inch as they went goal for goal until Northern Suburbs stamped their authority on the outcome running away with the game to eventually win by five goals, 39-34.
Northern Suburbs will now meet Ku-ring-gai in next Tuesday’s preliminary final after Ku-ring-gai were defeated by Randwick in the Major Semi Final.
Both Randwick and Ku-ring-gai brought with them strong support to the Anne Clark Centre for the second match of the night. It was a hotly anticipated affair, with the two sides having recently played out a nail-biter in the final round of the regular season, on that occasion Ku-ring-gai were one goal victors.
The tone was set early, with both teams playing high tempo netball with an automatic place in the Grand Final on offer.
With Ku-ring-gai basing their attacking game around their tall goal-shooter, they took the early ascendancy claiming the first four goals of the game before Randwick found their rhythm and levelled the scores at 8-all with a minute to go.
However, the full court defensive pressure of Ku-ring-gai forced turnovers and they were able to secure back to back goals to take a two goal advantage into the first break, 10-8.
The second quarter reflected the even nature of the two sides with both sets of shooters find their range, as the midcourters played out an intense battle to secure supremacy through the key middle third. Ku-ring-gai gained a three goal lead midway through the quarter. However, the top of the table Randwick dug deep and went into halftime on an even keel, 21-all.
The third quarter is often referred to as the “Premiership” quarter and Randwick were on point from the first whistle of the term, securing a five goal lead inside the opening five minutes, 27-22.
Randwick really found their groove, playing with real fluidity across the court and feeding the ball brilliantly into the goal circle, where their shooting combination capitalised on every opportunity.
But Ku-ring-gai’s kept working hard in defence and reduced Randwick’s seven goal lead to five at the final break.
The final quarter was a carbon copy of the previous quarter, with Randwick extending their lead to finish ten goal winners, 49-39.
Randwick will now have the week off as they prepare for the DOOLEYS State League Division Three Grand Final.
Reminder – download the Netball NSW State League App today!
After the success of the Court Craft Night Interdistrict App last season, Netball NSW is again offering our community an opportunity to have fixtures and results at your fingertips with the 2013 Netball NSW State League App.
The App is now available via the App Store, and has some fantastic features for iPhone users.
For under $1, users can access all eight Divisions’ fixtures and results, DOOLEYS State League-specific news, as well as save their favourite teams for quick access.