Looking to finish the 2014 National Netball Championships strongly, the NSW 19/U Team got off to a good start by overcoming Australian Capital Territory, 40-22, in their 5v8 Play-off in Melbourne.
NSW Captain Tanisha Stanton said although the team are disappointing not to be contesting Finals, they had set themselves a goal to finish the competition with two more wins and were happy with the performance they put out today.
“We’re really coming together, especially over the last few days. This week has been a bit rough in terms of we haven’t put out the performances we had hoped for, but all we can do now is go out there and play our best,” Stanton said.
“I wish we were contesting Finals – who doesn’t – but tomorrow is our Grand Final, so we want to give it everything we have. We’ve worked really over the last few months, putting in heaps of effort through things like work and study. We have a great group of girls in this team so we will be going out there tomorrow and playing for each other, because we deserve that.”
NSW enjoyed a great start to the match through some terrific defensive work from GK Billie Gurr as well as sharp shooting from GS Natalie Eldridge. NSW quickly jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first few minutes of the match and didn’t relinquish that control, taking a 10-6 lead into the first break.
NSW captain Tanisha Stanton was particularly strong in the attacking third, with strong drives to the circle edge to find her shooters, whilst backed up by a hard working Charlotte Jasprizza in C. Some crucial intercepts to GD Toni Anderson brought cheers from the crowd as they willed on the NSW players.
Eldridge presented well in the circle and supported by her shooting partner Lauren Yager, helped NSW to a 24-10 lead at half-time.
It was a more even affair for the start of the second half as ACT began mounting a comeback to get back into the contest. Through their tall GS Molly Dickson ACT began to chip away at the scoreboard deficit, but NSW wouldn’t let up.
After a late timeout was called by ACT, NSW scored three goals to two in the final minutes to further extend their lead at the final break, 34-16.
Nothing could separate the two sides in the final quarter as the ball bounced from end to end. With NSW looking to finish the tournament on a high, they held tough to finish 18 goal victors and book a play-off against the winner of Northern Territory v Tasmania tomorrow, Saturday 12 April, at 10:15am AEST.
Stay tuned to Netball NSW social media channels for live score updates throughout the match;
Instagram @netballnsw – using the hashtags #19UNetball #GoNSW
NSW│ Q1: 10 – Q2: 24 (14) – Q3: 34 (10) – Q4: 40 (6)
ACT│ Q1: 6 – Q2: 10 (4) – Q3: 16 (6) – Q4: 22 (6)
NSW: 40/47 @ 85%
Natalie Eldridge: 21/25 @ 84%
Lauren Yager: 19/22 @ 86%
ACT: 22/29 @ 76%
Victoria Schmahl: 1/2 @ 50%
Sophie Immonen: 15/20 @ 75%
Molly Dickson: 6/7 @ 86%
NSW│ GS Natalie Eldridge, GA Lauren Yager, WA Tanisha Stanton, C Charlotte Jasprizza, WD Madeline Woods, GD Toni Anderson, GK Billie Gurr
ACT│ GS Victoria Schmahl, GA Sophie Immonen, WA Hayley Ngametua, C Jo Collis, WD Ainsley McGrath, GD Hayley Bowyer (c), GK Shahana Plenty
NSW│ Q3 – WA Courtney Richmond, WD Zoe Gilbert, GK Sarah Kitcher; Q4 – GS Yager, GA Eldridge.
ACT│ Q2 – WA Breanna Toze, C Collis; Q2 Timeout – WD Maddie Dwyer; Q3 – GS Immonen, GA Molly Dickson, GD Tara Horne, GK Bowyer; Q4 – GS Dickson, GA Immonen, WD McGrath, GK Madison Bauer.