Fast finishes and tight results featured heavily in last night’s DOOLEYS Metro League Division 1 and 2 action at Netball Central, which brings to an end Semi Finals as the netball community turns it’s attentions towards the Preliminary Finals.
Eastwood Ryde and Hunter United joined Campbelltown District (Div 3), Randwick (Div 4) and Inner Western Suburbs (Div 5 and Div 6) in progressing directly to their respective Grand Finals, following wins in last night’s Major Semi Finals, Thursday 25 August.
See how the action played out, and get ready for Preliminary Finals starting next Monday 29 August with Divisions 3 and 4 and Netball Central…
Major Semi Final: Eastwood Ryde 47 d St George District 44
Minor Semi Final: Ku-ring-gai 44 d Northern Suburbs 43
MAJOR SEMI FINAL:
Under one percent goal differential was all that separated Minor Premiers Eastwood Ryde from second-place St George District; so last night’s Semi Final was always expected to be a tightly contested 60 minutes. And the two sides didn’t let spectators down with a thrilling display, in which Eastwood took 47-44 honours to book their place in the 2016 Grand Final.
However it was St George who came out blazing, putting on a dominant 14 goals to seven opening quarter to firmly control proceedings early. But credit to Eastwood who regathered during the break to get back in the contest; much in thanks to a strong showing from Goal Shooter Philippa Craft (12 goals for Q2), while Eastwood’s defenders did well to limit possession to St George’s attacking end.
After a topsy-turvy first half, the third quarter was a much more even affair as the two sides traded the lead. While Craft continued to shoulder much of the shooting for Eastwood, St George’s shooters Katie Scholz (GS) and Alana Stechiwskyj (GA) shared the spoils – in turn, helping their side to a 35-34 advantage at the final break.
With just 15minutes on the clock both sides came out firing, looking to earn themselves a week’s rest and direct route into the title decider. While the lead continued to see-saw between the sides, a purple patch in the latter half of the quarter put Eastwood in the driver’s seat. While St George through everything in the contest, they couldn’t catch their opponents who went on to claim victory by three goals.
St George still have an opportunity to feature in the Grand Final when they take on Ku-ring-gai in next week’s sudden-death Preliminary Final on Thursday 1 September at Netball Central.
EASTWOOD | Q1: 7 – Q2: 23 (16) – Q3: 34 (11) – Q4: 47 (13)
ST GEORGE | Q1: 14 – Q2: 22 (8) – Q3: 35 (13) – Q4: 44 (9)
EASTWOOD: 47/60 @ 78%
ST GEORGE: 44/59 @ 75%
MINOR SEMI FINAL:
It was a game that went down to the wire with Ku-ring-gai emerging victorious over Northern Suburbs by just one goal, thanks to a more accurate shooting percentage. While Northern Suburbs had 24 more scoring opportunities, they were unable to convert thanks to strong defensive pressure from their opponents.
The lead changed hands multiple times throughout the 60 minutes, with Northern Suburbs taking honours after the first 15 minutes. However they were never able to pull away from a tenacious Ku-ring-gai outfit, who continued to stick in the contest.
Following a purple patch midway through the second quarter, Ku-ring-gai was able to outscore Northern Suburbs 12 goals to 10 to take a slim one-goal buffer into half-tie. That lead continued to build early in third quarter thanks to a strong start; however credit to Northern Suburbs who finished the term strongly to stay within a two goal deficit.
However Northern Suburbs shooting woes really came into effect during the final 15 minutes as both teams turned up the intensity to keep their season alive; the winner would see their season continued into next week, while the other’s would finish that night. With Ku-ring-gai’s defenders turning up the pressure, Northern Suburbs were only able to shoot at a combined 41 percent accuracy; in comparison, Ku-ring-gai show at 77 percent accuracy.
In the end it proved costly as Ku-ring-gai was able to finish one goal victors despite having 14 less scoring opportunities. They will now turn their attentions to St George District to determine who will meet Eastwood Ryde in the title decider.
NORTHERN SUBURBS | Q1: 10 – Q2: 20 (10) – Q3: 32 (12) – Q4: 43 (11)
KU-RING-GAI | Q1: 9 – Q2: 21 (12) – Q3: 34 (13) – Q4: 44 (10)
NORTHERN SUBURBS: 43/82 @ 52%
KU-RING-GAI: 44/58 @ 76%
Major Semi Final: Hunter United 48 d Illawarra District 46
Minor Semi Final: Randwick 59 d Hills District 41
MAJOR SEMI FINAL:
Hunter United have booked their place in the Grand Final after narrowly defeating Minor Premiers Illawarra District, 48-46.
Hunter enjoyed a dominant opening half performance which put Illawarra on the back foot – but credit to the Minor Premiers, who came back strongly to force the game into an arm wrestle. Opening up an early 5-1 lead – much in thanks to their Goal Shooter Sabina Goboso who finished 41 goals at 85 percent accuracy – Hunter let their intentions be known early.
While Illawarra at times suffered from nerves under the post, they began to find momentum halfway through the second quarter, which instilled confidence despite facing a five goal deficit at the big break.
With momentum, Illawarra weren’t going down without a fight by charging home in the third quarter. Goal Shooter Hannah Binks provided a strong target for Illawarra in the circle, contributing 14 of her team’s 18 goals for the quarter. The result saw Illawarra even the scoreboard at the final break, 37-37, setting up an exciting final 15 minutes with Hunter United.
A nervous start from the Minor Premiers allowed Hunter to take back the lead early, forcing their opponents into chase mode once again. But again Illawarra were able to get back on level footing, until late in the piece Hunter found three consecutive goals to consolidate their position.
Despite Illawarra’s best efforts, United were able to finish off the game to emerge two-goal victors. Illawarra now turn their attention to next week’s Preliminary Final against Randwick to determine who will meet Hunter in the Grand Final.
ILLAWARRA | Q1: 7 – Q2: 19 (12) – Q3: 37 (18) – Q4: 46 (9)
HUNTER | Q1: 13 – Q2: 24 (11) – Q3: 37 (13) – Q4: 48 (11)
ILLAWARRA: 46/67 @ 69%
HUNTER: 48/58 @ 83%
MINOR SEMI FINAL:
Despite the final score, Randwick survived a spirited Hills District to claim a 59-41 Semi Final victory last night, keeping their finals campaign alive for another week. Randwick led at every break, however really pushed their case from the second quarter after holding a slim two-goal buffer at the first break.
The match began on fairly even footing, with a small burst of consecutive goals halfway through the quarter actually seeing Hills District take the lead. This was short lived as Randwick finished the period strongly to hit the front.
This momentum continued into the second quarter as Randwick quickly built their buffer out to seven goals. Both Mojela Baker-Khamphan (Goal Shooter) and Danielle Bower (Goal Attack) proved strong targets for Randwick, sharing the shooting load evenly between them. This lead would be sustained until half-time.
Despite the seven goal deficit, Hills District began the second half with gusto to get back with four goals of their opponents. But it would be as close as Randwick would allow as they endured a purple patch to further extend their advantage to 14 goals at the final break.
It would remain as close as Hills would be allowed, as Randwick finished off the match strongly. The result sees Randwick progress to the Preliminary Final, where they will meet Minor Premiers Illawarra to battle it out for a place in the 2016 title decider against Hunter United.
RANDWICK | Q1: 11 – Q2: 28 (17) – Q3: 45 (17) – Q4: 59 (14)
HILLS DISTRICT | Q1: 9 – Q2: 19 (10) – Q3: 31 (12) – Q4: 41 (10)
RANDWICK: 59/73 @ 81%
HILLS DISTRICT: 41/53 @ 77%