The NSW 21/U Team has claimed a hard-fought 13 goal victory over Western Australia, 48-35, to cement their place in the top four to contest 2014 National Netball Championships Finals this weekend, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 March, at Netball SA Stadium.
It was a nervous start from NSW with renowned sharp shooter Kristina Brice uncharacteristically missing her first few shots at goal. WA sniffed an opportunity and quickly capitalised on the possession gains by getting out to an early lead.
But NSW settled, keeping the ball short and sharp rather than looking for the long, opportunistic pass down the court. NSW Swifts replacement player Taylah Davies had a stand-out start, looking more at home in the WA bib with her speed and creative feeds into the circle setting up for the shooters to capitalise. At the first break NSW were up 14-9.
The momentum from the opening 15 minutes stuck with the Waratahs with their intense hands-over pressure forcing WA errors. Receiving plenty of attention under the post, GS Brice was ably assisted by shooting partner and captain Amy Sommerville who had her eye in with the long shot.
With defensive pairing GK Karli Ireland and GD Kristiana Manu’a working overtime to deny the WA shooters any space in the circle, NSW were able to extend their lead to 14 goals at half-time, 28-14.
The intensity lifted as the contest began evening out, with WA finding their shooters as they chased the deficit on the scoreboard. WA were able to get a run of goals and with five minutes until the break Sommerville called a timeout, allowing Head Coach Megan Simpson to make changes. Donnay Van Taak came onto C while Lauren Cantwell, given the nod at GA, used her speed and netball smarts to cut the shooting circle to find the post.
Holding out a WA fight back, NSW were able to take a 15 goal lead, 39-24, into the final 15 minutes.
Simpson made further changes to her side for the final quarter, giving Tiesha Ojeda and Phoebe Seamer their chance against WA. An early timeout called by Brice also saw Claudia Russell come onto GS.
The changes took some time to adjust and WA took advantage on the scoreboard, however NSW stuck tight. Holding out a tough WA side, NSW claimed a 13 goal victory to finish the round-robin in third position.
Watch the full NetballNSWTV interview with Maddie Hay, plus match highlights, below:
With the win solidifying their spot in the top four, NSW will now turn its attention to the Finals where they will meet Victoria in the Semi-Final tomorrow at 12:30pm AEDST, with the winner progressing to the Grand Final for a shot at being crowned 2014 Champion.
Stay up-to-date with NSW’s progress at the 2014 21/U National Netball Championships by following us on Social Media:
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2014 National Netball Championships – Finals Fixtures
Saturday 15 March
Semi Final 1: South Australia (1) v Queensland (4) @ 10:30am*
Semi Final 2: Victoria (2) v New South Wales (3) @ 12pm
Sunday 16 March
Western Australia (5) v Australian Capital Territory (6) @ 10am
3rd Place Play-Off: Loser SF 1 v Loser SF 2 @ 11:30am
Grand Final: Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2 @ 1pm
Presentations @ 2:30pm
*above times SA local
NSW│ Q1: 14 – Q2: 28 (14) – Q3: 39 (11) – Q4: 48 (9)
WA│ Q1: 9 – Q2: 14 (5) – Q3: 24 (10) – Q4: 34 (10)
NSW: 48/72 @ 67%
Kristina Brice: 29/43 @ 74%
Amy Sommerville: 9/14 @ 64%
Lauren Cantwell: 8/11 @ 73%
Claudia Russell: 2/4 @ 50%
WA: 35/47 @ 74%
Sophie Garbin: 20/26 @ 77%
Emma Cosh: 9/14 @ 64%
Kimberley Burton: 6/7 @ 86%
Teams Starting Positions
NSW│ GS Kristina Brice, GA Amy Sommerville (c), WA Taylah Davies, C Sophie Halpin, WD Maddie Hay, GD Kristiana Manu’a, GK Karli Ireland
WA│ GS Sophie Garbin, GA Emma Cosh, WA Numi Tupaea, C Ingrid Colyer, WD Jessica Anstiss, GD Jessica Penny, GK Annika Lee-Jones
NSW│ Q3 Timeout – GA Lauren Cantwell, C Donnay Van Taak, GD Ireland, GK Manu’a; Q4 – WA Tiesha Ojeda, GK Phoebe Seamer; Q4 Timeout – GS Claudia Russell, GD Kristiana Manu’a.
WA│ Q4 – GA Kimberley Burton, GD Kara Edwards, GK Nicole Lendich.