The Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs have repeated last season’s Semi Final victory, defeating the Western Sting by just one goal, 45-44, in their first Week 5 hit-out of the 2013 Australian Netball League (ANL) in Canberra.
Assistant Coach Maria Lynch said it was an amazing performance and funny how the netball script can repeat itself on occasions.
“To have an identical scoreline to last year’s Semi Final, it just shows you how evenly matched some of these teams are,” Lynch said.
“We knew WA was going to keep at us, we knew they were going to throw their bodies on the line, and I was really pleased that our girls kept digging deep. There were some really top performances out there from individuals which then spread throughout the team.”
“We have enjoyed some tight battles this season where we have come out on top, so to know that we are the fighters and have that reputation is fantastic … these girls are really starting to believe in themselves and support each other out there and you could really see that on court today,” Lynch concluded.
The NNSW Waratahs looked to be in the driving seat, opening up a five goal lead halfway through the opening quarter. However the Sting weren’t to be discouraged, putting together six unanswered goals to take back the lead.
With dogged determination the NNSW Waratahs finished the quarter strongly to take a slime two goal lead at the first break, 13-11.
With tall shooter Mel Tallent opening the score for the second quarter, the NNSW Waratahs extended their lead. It was goal-for-goal with little separating the two sides until the Western Australians found an extra gear.
With shooting duo Ellie Smart at GA and West Cost Fever player Lisa Millman causing all sorts of problems for the Waratahs defenders, the Sting put together a run of goals to take the lead holding a three goal advantage at half time 26-23.
The momentum stayed with the West Australians for the start of the second half, with their speed and tight one-on-one defence suffocating the fluid movement of the NNSW Waratahs midcourt. However the tried and tested attacking combination of Sutherland Shire teammates Mel Tallent (GS), Leah Shoard (GA) and Taylah Davies (WA) kept the NSW in touch as the teams traded goals.
The defensive partnership of Elly Willan at GK and Captain Samantha May at GD worked overtime, and soon the Waratahs had closed the gap on the scoreboard, and late in the third quarter had taken back the lead.
With neither side gaining advantage in the final minutes both sides went into the fourth quarter even on the scoreboard, 34-34.
It was an intense affair for the final 15 minutes, with players throwing themselves at every contest to try to gain advantage for their sides. Taking reins of the NNSW Waratahs in the absence of Sue Hawkins, Assistant Coach Maria Lynch made her first and only changes for the match, bringing on Nadja Kundrus-Little to WD and 2012 ANL Player of the Year Kristy Guthrie to C.
The NNSW Waratahs were able to put a run of eight goals while keeping Sting to just five, gaining a slight advantage as the clock quickly ticked over. It was a nail-biting affair as the West Australians hit back, putting together three consecutive goals to even the score in the final minute.
But the NNSW Waratahs held strong and, with Tallent nailing a long-range penalty goal in the final seconds, claimed another one goal win over the Western Sting, 45-44.
The NNSW Waratahs will now rest up before returning tomorrow, Sunday 4 August, to take on Queensland Fusion at 4.00pm.
Although they will enjoy the spoils of today’s result, Lynch said the job isn’t over for the NSW side.
“The girls having this win and knowing they had to fight for it … those factors stick with you. This team knows they can do it when the going gets tough, and we are expecting another tight contest with QLD tomorrow,” Lynch said.
Make sure you stay tuned to all the action by following Netball NSW on social media – www.facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW, www.twitter.com/Netball_NSW, www.youtube.com/NetballNSWTV, and Instagram @netballnsw.
NNSW WARATAHS Q1: 13- Q2: 23 (10) – Q3: 34 (11) – Q4: 45 (11)
WESTERN STING Q1: 11 – Q2: 26 (14) – Q3: 34 (8) – Q4: 44 (10)
NNSW WARATAHS: 45/51 @ 88%
Mel Tallent: 27/30 @ 90%
Leah Shoard: 18/21 @ 86%
WESTERN STING: 44/59 @ 76%
Lisa Millman: 22/24 @ 92%
Ellie Smart: 15/24 @ 63%
Sarah East: 7/11 @ 64%
Teams Starting Positions
NNSW WARATAHSL: GS Mel Tallent, GA Leah Shoard, WA Taylah Davies, C Emily Keenan, WD Ashlee Weir, GD Samantha May (c), GK Elly Willan
WESTERN STING: GS Lisa Millman, GA Ellie Smart, WA Numi Tupaea, C Lindal Rhodes, WD Andrea Gilmore (c), GD Kate Schleicher, GK Alice Coakley
Q4: C Kristy Guthrie, WD Nadja Kundrus-Little.
Q2 – WA Ingrid Colyer; Q4 – GS Sarah East, GA Millman, WA Rhodes, C Colyer; Q4 Timeout: GD Alicia Janz.