The NSW 17/U Team have finished the round robin undefeated with a 37-23 victory over a spirited Australian Capital Territory in Round 7 of the 2014 National Netball Championships in Melbourne.
The 17/U ladder leaders were pushed for the full 40 minutes by a hard working ACT, and head into tomorrow’s (Friday 11 April) Finals with six wins and one draw.
Head Coach Moira Gaha said it was never the team’s intention to finish the round robin undefeated, however it was a perfect way to have confidence heading into Finals.
“We just wanted to play the tournament our way. Obviously to finish the round robin undefeated is a fantastic achievement, but our goal was really to take it game by game, goal by goal, and to build throughout the week,” Gaha said.
“For us it was about building the teamwork and our strategies throughout the week, so to finish undefeated is a great outcome in achieving a lot of goals along the way, and gives us a confidence heading into Semi Finals.
“We’re at Nationals and every team is tough. Although this week has given us the opportunity to build and gel as a team, it all starts again tomorrow. We know that when you get to Finals, it’s the team that’s going to stand up and want it the most that’s going to win,” Gaha concluded.
GS Loren Singleton proved to be a strong target early for NSW, holding space well in the circle to receive pin point feeds from her midcourters. Down the other end, the defensive efforts from captain Amy Parmenter (WD) and Chelsea Bolton (GD) put pressure on ACT passes, allowing circle defenders Leanne Grevenitz and Kirra Jones to get their hands to the ball.
ACT staged a small comeback in the final minutes however NSW held steady to take an 11-7 lead into the first break.
It was goal for goal for the next few minutes with a fairly even contest between the neighbouring States. However slowly but surely NSW started to chip away at the scoreboard and by halfway through the second quarter had opened up to a six goal lead, thanks to some accurate shooting from Singleton and Austin.
But ACT wouldn’t let up, sticking with their opponents through some speedy ball movement to find tall GS Alison Miller in the circle. Despite a goal to Miller in the dying seconds of the first half, NSW took a five goal buffer into the big break, 18-13.
Gaha made her first changes of the game but they didn’t little to disrupt NSW’s momentum, with the Blues scoring five goals to one in the opening minutes to further extend their lead. Partnering GS Prudence Ellis who’d come onto GS, Singleton was in great form taking the shot as ACT defenders double teamed her 189cm partner.
With Singleton with her eye in and a brilliant defensive effort to keep ACT to just three goals for the quarter, NSW stretched out their lead to 13 goals into the final break, 29-16.
Despite the score line ACT were up for the fight and although NSW scored the first three unanswered goals, ACT weren’t to be discounted. It was a back and forth tussle as players threw everything into the contest however just like games previously NSW held tough to post a 14 goal victory – their sixth win of the tournament.
Depending on the outcome from Victoria v Queensland match later this afternoon, NSW look likely to take out first spot on the 17/U ladder. They will meet fourth placed South Australia in tomorrow’s Semi Final at 11:30am AEST, with the winner advancing straight to the Grand Final for a tilt at the 2014 Champions title.
Stay tuned to Netball NSW social media channels for live score updates throughout the match;
Instagram @netballnsw – using the hashtags #17UNetball #GoNSW
NSW│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 18 (7) – Q3: 29 (11) – Q4: 37 (8)
ACT│ Q1: 7 – Q2: 13 (6) – Q3: 16 (3) – Q4: 23 (7)
NSW: 37/46 @ 80%
Loren Singleton: 20/26 @ 77%
Kiera Austin: 7/9 @ 78%
Prudence Ellis: 10/11 @ 91%
ACT: 23/28 @ 82%
Alison Miller: 16/19 @ 84%
Leila Basic: 7/9 @ 78%
NSW│ GS Loren Singleton, GA Kiera Austin, WA Claire O’Brien, C Chelsea Bolton, WD Amy Parmenter (c), GD Kirra Jones, GK Leanne Grevenitz
ACT│ GS Alison Miller, GA Leila Basic, WA Georgia Winter, C Carly Symons, WD Alana Bowyer (c), GD Claudia Barton, GK Bryana Robinson
NSW│ Q3 – GS Prudence Ellis, GA Singleton, WA Kristen Kessler, GD Lauren Moore; Q4 – WD Moore, GD Jones.
ACT│ Q2 – WD Lucy Laurent, GK Bowyer; Q3 – WA Symons, C Zoe Haseler; Q4 – GS Basic, GA Miller.