SA hold on for narrow victory over NSW

After being tied at three quarter time, South Australia has withstood a spirited NSW 17/U Team to claim a two goal victory in their Round Two match at the 17/U National Netball Championships in Darwin.  The two teams were equal 20 goals on the scoreboard at the final break, with SA able to outscore NSW nine goals to seven to take the win.

It was a tough and physical match from the outset, with first game nerves behind the two teams. National debutant Ashley Valeni stood strong in the defensive circle, taking valuable intercepts to gift NSW shooters possession.  However SA couldn’t be discounted, putting a number of unanswered goals to claw the goal deficit back to just one at the big break; NSW led 13-12 at half time.

Head Coach Lenore Blades continued to rotate her players for the second half, bringing on Natasha Strachan to WD, moving Charlotte Jasprizza to C and Jade Riley came onto WA.  Riley made an impact early for NSW, finding the edge of the circle to feed into the tall shooting duo and leadership team of GS Georgia Marshall (captain) and GA Lauren Yager (vice-captain).

It was the vice-captain who hit a goal on the final whistle to level scores at 20 goals apiece at the final break.

The two teams traded goals as the noise from the spectators grew with each passing minute of the match.  As the pressure increased, so too did the errors as the players tried their best to stand up for their teams.  In the end, SA was able to hold out a resurgent NSW to claim a two goal victory, 29-27.

It was the second game today that NSW came within a couple of goals of victory, however Blades says they team can’t dwell.

“It’s disappointing to again come so close to a win, but I thought the girls were – for the most part –  much more composed and focussed than our opening match,” said Blades.

“A real positive is the girls who came on for the second half were able to continue that momentum from the first half, which is really fantastic … we just need to get that consistency together, which is an achievable goal.”

“The game was a good test for the players in terms of the intensity of finals, so it’s a great experience and there is plenty that we can take away from it,” Blades concluded.

NSW 17/U are back on court tomorrow morning to take on Northern Territory at 11.00am (local time), while the 19/U State Team also meet NT at 12.30pm. Stay tuned to facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW for quarter score updates and photos.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW Q1: 8 – Q2: 13 (5) – Q3: 20 (7) – Q4: 27 (7)
SA Q1: 5 – Q2: 12 (7) – Q3: 20 (8) – Q4: 29 (9)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 27/32 @ 84%
Georgia Marshall: 20/24 @ 83%
Lauren Yager: 7/8 @ 88%

SA: 29/43 @ 67%
Kelsey Williams: 18/25 @ 72%
Charlee Hodges: 11/18 @ 61%