Waratahs open with Newcastle win

16 SLIDER NNSW Waratahs v Western Sting Georgia Marshall

The Netball NSW Waratahs put in a patient, well-timed performance to overcome Western Sting 63-60 at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Saturday 11 June, marking a confident return to play after three weeks rest from the 2016 Australian Netball League.

After a shaky first quarter in which the Sting came out of the blocks firing, the Waratahs rolled up their sleeves to haul in the visitors’ six-goal lead and eventually overcome the Western Australians in the first leg of their weekend double-header. The teams will meet again tomorrow, Sunday 12 June, at Netball Central from 12 noon.

For the Sting it was their fifth loss of season so far, but they were in the contest right until the end and will be eager to get one back over their NSW rivals tomorrow. Their shooters were deadly accurate throughout the 60 minutes, but in the end the Waratahs simply had more opportunities to score.

It was a fast and furious start to the contest as both teams traded goals in the opening five minutes. Ball movement was swift and there was an excellent pace to the game, while at the shooting ends NSW’s Kiera Austin and Georgia Marshall, as well as Ashleigh Neal and Lisa Millman for the Sting, were capitalising on their opportunities.

As the quarter progressed it was the visitors who seemed to be settling faster into the contest, with strong play in the midcourt ensuring the good supply of ball to their shooters continued. Heading into the first break the Sting managed to pull out to a handy six goal lead after finishing the quarter with momentum.

Despite the tide being against them, the Waratahs began the second stanza with confidence; outscoring their opponents seven goals to five in the opening minutes. The home team had more urgency in their play with Maddy Hay and Claire O’Brien instrumental in their increasingly speedy ball movement.

However they couldn’t quell Sting’s urgency, with the visitors sticking to worked well for them in the opening period – midcourters Lindal Rhode and Jessica Anstiss in particular leading their side’s charge.

For most of the second quarter NSW were able to get within about four or five goals of the Western Australians, but no more as the visitors repelled the Waratahs with fine counter-attacking play of their own. However NSW weren’t be deterred and kept chipping away, eventually closing in on the Sting as Marshall and Austin combined to help send the Waratahs into half-time trailing by just two goals; Sting lead 33-31.

While Sting continued to put good pressure on their hosts, the Waratahs had found confidence in their game and continued to grow into the contest. By midway through the third quarter the Waratahs were able to equalise the scoreboard, and didn’t look at stopping there.

NSW’s resurgence was aided by fresh legs which were introduced during the big break, with goal attack Vanessa Mullampy in particular providing a strong movement in the Waratahs’ shooting circle.

The game had swung in favour of the home side but the Sting looked far from done. While WA’s shooters continued to be a handful for the NSW defence throughout, the home side managed to win the third quarter by three goals to take a slim one-goal lead into the final 15 minutes.

With their tails up, the Waratahs continued their good play and remained calm under pressure. Captain Taylah Davies (wing attack) and wing defence Sophie Halpin were calming influences as NSW kept hold of their slender advantage, while at the back Jessica Calderara and Ashely Valeni were making the Sting work hard for any possession that came their way.

It was a tense final quarter with both sides guilty of turnovers thanks to the increase in pressure. But it was the Waratahs who held on, managing to hold out Sting in the final minutes to claim the three-goal victory.

Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s re-match at Netball Central; $11.50 for Adults and $6.50 for Children/Concessions. Join us for another exciting chapter of Round 7 ANL action! Get your Tickets here.

Quarter-by Quarter Scores
NSW│ Q1: 13 – Q2: 31 (18) – Q3: 47 (16) – Q4: 63 (16)
WA│ Q1: 19 –  Q2: 33 (14) –  Q3: 46 (13) – Q4: 60 (14)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 63/73 @ 86%
G. Marshall: 35/40 @88%
K. Austin: 17/21 @ 81%
V. Mullampy: 11/12 @ 92%

WA: 60/66 @ 91%
L. Millman: 24/25 @ 96%
A. Neal: 22/27 @81%
S. Garbin: 14/14 @ 100%

Starting Line-ups
NSW│ GS Georgia Marshall, GA Kiera Austin, WA Claire O’Brien, C Maddy Hay, WD Sophie Halpin, GD Ashley Valeni, GK Lauren Moore

WA │ GS Lisa Millman (C), GA Ashleigh Weal, WA Jessica Anstiss, C Lindal Rohde, WD Jessica Eales, GD Mia Spencer, GK Annika Lee-Jones

Positional Changes
NSW│ Q2 – GD Jessica Calderara; Q2 Timeout – GK Valeni; Q3 – GA Vanessa Mullampy, WA Taylah Davies (C).