NSW kick off 2013 Nationals campaign with win

NSW 21/U team has kicked off their 2013 National Netball Championships campaign with an 11 goal victory over Australian Capital Territory, 52-41, in their opening match of the tournament.

The match began at a quick pace, with NSW moving the ball quickly down the court to break the ACT zone. WA Taylah Davies used her speed to full affect for NSW while defensive duo GK Karli Ireland and GD Kristiana Manu’a combined well down back. 

NSW were able to jump out to a five goal lead, however a strong response from ACT saw the home side even the score with just over two minutes left in the opening quarter.  Some accurate shooting from captain Alix McDermott at GA gave NSW a two goal buffer at the first break, 14-12.

NSW changes for the second quarter; Katie Maguire to WD and Sophie Halpin to C.

The momentum was with ACT for the start of the second quarter, with experienced GS Sophie Gunn slotting the first two goals to even the score early.  The home side took a lead from NSW book, trying to move the ball quickly through the midcourt to break the zone; however, Manu’a took key intercepts on the transverse line to limit the ball into the opposition circle.

Alternatively, NSW worked the ball patiently around their attacking third to work the ball into the shooters.  Their patient paid off, with NSW extending their lead to five goals at half time, 25-20.

NSW changes for third quarter; Kristina Brice to GS.

The introduction of Brice for the second half made an immediate impact, with the 197cm shooter proving a handful for the ACT defence.  The NSW midcourt fed some beautiful high balls into Brice, while McDermott a ‘sweeper’ role at GA in an attempt to drag the attention of the ACT defence from her partner.

NSW blew out to a 12 goal lead, however a late surge from ACT saw the home side claw back the goal deficit to eight goals at the final break; NSW leading 39-31.

NSW changes for fourth quarter; Donnay van Taak to C.

The thrilling matchup of Ireland and Gunn continued into the final quarter, with both players reaching new heights to stem the influence of the other under the high ball. Manu’a continued to back up down the court, giving the NSW shooters plenty of possession.

In the end NSW were able to run out the match to post an 11 goal victory over ACT, 52-41.

With their first match of Nationals now complete, Lynch said the team will look at the positives to take into the rest of the tournament.

“It was great that we were able to get so many out on court to have a taste of the Nationals arena,” Lynch said.

“We have the goal of building on each game … we pulled away in each quarter so we achieved what we set out to do.”

“(Our next match against) WA will have a different line-up but we will be strong and physical … keeping the basics right and building again,” concluded Lynch.

NSW will be back on court at ACT Netball Association at 6.30pm to take on WA in Round Two of the Nationals competition.  Stay tuned to facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW for quarter-by-quarter scores and photos, or join in the conversation at twitter.com/Netball_NSW or instagram.com/netballnsw

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW Q1: 14 – Q2: 25 (11) – Q3: 39 (14) – Q4: 52 (13)
ACT Q1: 12 – Q2: 20 (8) – Q3: 31 (11) – Q4: 41 (10)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 52/73 @ 71%
Emma Turner: 11/17 @ 65%
Alix McDermott: 18/29 @ 62%
Kristina Brice: 23/27 @ 85%

ACT: 41/52 @ 79%
Sophie Gunn: 29/34 @ 85%
Lisa Kaye: 12/18 @ 67%

Teams Starting Positions
NSW
GS Emma Turner
GA Alix McDermott (c)
WA Taylah Davies
C Donnay van Taak
WD Sophie Halpin (vc)
GD Kristiana Manu’a
GK Karli Ireland

ACT
GS Sophie Gunn
GA Lisa Kaye
WA Leigh Kalsbek
C Rebecca Collis
WD Silvia Gonzales (c)
GD Keely Rodrigo
GK Lara Bowyer