Netball NSW would like to congratulate both our 17/U and 19/U State Teams for finishing Runners-up in their respective age-groups at the 2016 National Netball Championships, held at Perth’s State Netball Centre last week (11-16 April 2016).
2016 has been a successful season for NSW, with our 21/U State Team finishing National Champions at the 21/U National Netball Championships in March after defeating Victoria 49-46 in Tasmania.
Both teams showed great tenacity throughout last week and produced some amazing performances against tough opponents. Our 19/U side finished in second place, whilst their younger 17/U compatriots scraped in at fourth place, following the conclusion of the regular rounds to qualify for Semi Finals.
Courageously, both teams contested thrilling Semi Finals to advance to the title-decider; showing great depth in the NSW Player Development Pathway to see all three underage State Teams feature in the Grand Finals this season.
After defeating top placed Victoria by just two goals in a thrilling penultimate game, the young 17/U side kept cool heads when they took the court against South Australia for their final appearance, only to be beaten 24-29 in what was an exciting and physical contest.
Despite the loss, NSW 17/U head coach Jo Macdermid told Netball NSW on Sunday that she had plenty of belief in her side heading into the title decider, especially after they began firing towards the business end of the competition.
“I never once doubted the girls and they showed incredible trust in each other both on and off the court. Their maturity shone today especially with the depth that we have in our team,” said Macdermid.
“We really bought the hunger and tenacity to the court – we worked hard to force simple errors, and that gave us the chance to pick up those and get plenty of turn over ball.”
“I personally felt very proud of them and they (the players) did as well, representing our State well today – they did the uniform and the Waratah proud – they put together a true Championship winning performance today.”
Their NSW 19/U counterparts followed in their footsteps by also putting out a string of solid performances, including a confidence boosting 15-goal Semi Final victory over South Australia to advance. However they were faced with a tight contest against old foes Victoria, finishing with the silver medal after a 27-31 defeat.
Netball NSW caught up with 19/U head coach Moira Gaha post their Grand Final performance, who said she couldn’t have been prouder of her charges.
“The girls had a fantastic week and they all contributed beautifully to each game which was nice from a coach’s perspective… They gelled really well both on and off the court and even though we were aiming for the gold, we were so pleased to come away with silver,” Gaha said.
“We have such a promising team; one that has great depth and they really showed that over the week. It was such a great positive team environment and, despite some challenges during the week, I think the girls really pulled together and stuck it out.”
“Also a big thank you to our support staff who were absolutely incredible and they really helped out as much as possible; it made a huge difference to our week,” Gaha concluded.
Netball NSW would also like to congratulate and acknowledge our four NSW umpires Tayla Favell, (Baulkham Hills) Tamara Welsford, (Penrith), Thomas Turner (Parramatta Auburn), and Sarah Hay (St George District) who also participated in the 2016 National Netball Championships last week in Perth.