Hunter United, Randwick earn Grand Final berths

The top sides in Divisions 1 & 2 of the 2017 DOOLEYS Metro League went head to head last night, Thursday 31 August, at the Genea Netball Centre with two earning passages to their respective Grand Finals.

Hunter United (Division 1) and Randwick (Division 1) have both progressed to the big dance, which will take place on Thursday 14 September.

Who will they face? Well that depends on the results of next week’s Preliminary Finals. Full details in the wrap below.



MAJOR SEMI FINAL: Hunter United 65 d Baulkham Hills Shire 34

Two massive quarters helped set up the Hunter United’s 31-goal victory over Baulkham Hills Shire last night, which resulted in the Minor Premiers securing a Grand Final berth in two weeks’ time.

Outscoring their opponents by big margins in the second quarter (19-5) and again in the final 15 minutes (20-11), helped set up the convincing win with goal shooter Sabina Gomboso proving a dominant force in the circle to finish with 52 goals to her name – 80 percent of her side’s total goal tally.

While Baulkham Hills had plenty of possession early, they couldn’t sustain their momentum with Hunter United’s deadly accuracy under the post giving them a quick buffer. And while Baulkham Hills kept in touch on the scoreboard at the first break, their opponents had other plans once the game recommenced.

Hunter flew out of the blocks for the second quarter, putting up nine unanswered goals partway through the term to really dominate the contest. Baulkham Hills had little answers to counter the wave of momentum against them while the pressure was mounting on their attacking end. Between them the Hunter shooters only missed two attempts the entire quarter, which helped set up a commanding 32-13 lead at half-time.

Staring down a 19-goal deficit, Baulkham Hills made wholesale changes to their line-up for the second half to try and move momentum in their favour. It seemed to invigorate the side as they fell into step with Hunter, trading goals for much of the third term. However their efforts couldn’t claw back the deficit as the Minor Premiers won their third quarter in a row (only by three goals) to push out their advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.

And if the previous quarter had given Baulkham Hills any hope, Hunter were quick to dismiss it in the final term. Scoring the first five unanswered goals, Hunter quickly established control on play and left their opponents in their wake.

Credit to Baulkham Hills who didn’t give up and for the last half of the quarter they went goal-for-goal with their opponents. However the damage was done and after posting their highest scoring quarter, Hunter were able to claim a commanding victory to earn a week off before the 2017 title decider.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
HUNTER UNITED | Q1: 13 – Q2: 32 (19) – Q3: 45 (13) – Q4: 65 (20)
BAULKHAM HILLS | Q1: 8 – Q2: 13 (5) – Q3: 23 (10) – Q4: 34 (11)

Shooting Statistics
HUNTER: 65/76 @ 86%
S. Gomboso: 52/60 @ 87%
A. Gray: 10/12 @ 83%
E. Prince: 3/4 @ 75%

BAULKHAM HILLS: 34/53 @ 64%
L. Singleton: 6/12 @ 50%
C. Green: 16/25 @ 64%
K. Noble: 12/16 @ 75%


MINOR SEMI FINAL: Eastwood Ryde 46 d Illawarra District 36

Eastwood Ryde have kept their season alive after overcoming a spirited Illawarra District outfit 46-36. It was a case of slow and steady wins the race, with Eastwood extending their lead bit by bit across the four quarters.

While Illawarra opened the scoring through goal attack Jessica McGrath, it was Eastwood who claimed control early with shooters Philippa Craft (GS) and Alexandra Campbell (GA) sharing the scoring load. While Eastwood soon got out to an 8-4 lead, Illawarra GS Wilma Cawi – a shining light in her side’s loss – got back to within one goal late in the term. But three unanswered goals to Campbell helped set up Eastwood’s four-goal buffer at the first break.

Still, Illawarra weren’t to be deterred with Cawi providing a strong target in the circle and she soon got her side back on equal footing with their opponents. However it was as close as Illawarra could get as Eastwood put up the next five consecutive goals to regain control with Campbell leading the charge, setting up a six-goal lead at the big break.

While Eastwood maintained their starting seven, Illawarra made to changes to their side for the start of the second half. However they had little effect on Eastwood’s momentum as they continued to push out their scoreboard advantage. Just when Illawarra looked to be mounting a comeback – putting up four quick goals – Eastwood nullified the charge by finding five unanswered goals to further extend their lead as the game moved into the final 15 minutes.

Nine goals down Illawarra left nothing in the tank and threw everything at their opponents to pull back the deficit. However the closest they could get was within seven goals as Eastwood withheld every charge, finishing with the last two goals of the game to post a 10-score victory.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
EASTWOOD RYDE | Q1: 12 – Q2: 26 (14) – Q3: 38 (12) – Q4: 46 (8)
ILLAWARRA DISTRICT | Q1: 8 – Q2: 20 (12) – Q3: 29 (9) – Q4: 36 (7)

Shooting Statistics
EASTWOOD: 46/67 @ 69%
P. Craft: 18/27 @ 67%
A. Campbell: 28/40 @ 70%

ILLAWARRA: 36/44 @ 82%
W. Cawi: 27/30 @ 90%
J. McGrath: 4/7 @ 57%
H. Binks: 5/7 @ 71%



MAJOR SEMI FINAL: Randwick 57 d Hills District 47

Randwick have booked their place in the Division 2 Grand Final after a fine 57-47 win over Minor Premiers Hills District.

The result means the team from the Eastern Suburbs has earned a week off while Hills must now overcome Blue Mountains in next week’s sudden-death Preliminary Final if they are to keep their season alive.

Huge performances in the opening two quarters were enough to put Randwick well in control of a game which was all but sewn up by the last break.

They came storming out of the blocks in the first quarter with the Randwick midcourt dominating and creating far more opportunities for their potent attack. They won the first quarter 17-10 and backed it up in the second with a 16-10 performance.

At halftime Hills were down by 13 and needed a huge third quarter to try and rein in their rivals. That didn’t materialise with Randwick getting the better of things in that period too, and while Hills were better they still went to the last break a further three goals in arrears.

With the margin at 15 going into the last 15 minutes all Randwick had to do was remain composed and they did so.

However, Hills could take heart from their fourth quarter showing – they won it 16-11 – and know more of the same will be required if they are to meet Randwick again in the big dance.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
RANDWICK | Q1: 17 – Q2: 33 (16) – Q3: 46 (13) – Q4: 57 (11)
HILLS DISTRICT | Q1: 10 – Q2: 20 (10) – Q3: 31 (11) – Q4: 47 (16)

Shooting Statistics
RANDWICK: 57/73 @ 78%
M. Baker-Khamphan: 39/47 @ 83%
D. Bower: 18/26 @ 69%

HILLS DISTRICT: 47/66 @ 73%
A. Lees: 30/45 @ 66%
G. Seed: 17/21 @ 81%


MINOR SEMI FINAL: Blue Mountains 43 d Campbelltown 40

Blue Mountains are still in the running for a Grand Final spot after a hard-earned 45-40 win over Campbelltown.

They will now go head to head with Hills District in next week’s Preliminary Final to shoot it out for a place in the competition showpiece against Randwick on September 14.

Winning the first quarter by four goals would prove vital in the end as it was the only period in which the sides could be separated by more than three goals.

Having won the first quarter 13-9, Blue Mountains looked to have settled well before Campbelltown responded well to win the second by two and leave the same margin between the sides at halftime.

It was a very tight and tense third quarter with both teams contributing plenty, especially the defences in what became a very low-scoring period. But Blue Mountains edged another quarter, by just one, and Campbelltown had to win the final period by four plus to keep their season alive.

They couldn’t manage it and by drawing the fourth quarter Blue Mountains had done enough to fight another day.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
BLUE MOUNTAINS | Q1: 13 – Q2: 23 (10) – Q3: 32 (9) – Q4: 43 (11)
CAMPBELLTOWN | Q1: 9 – Q2: 21 (12) – Q3: 29 (8) – Q4: 40 (11)

Shooting Statistics
BLUE MOUNTAINS: 43/53 @ 81%
D. Haggerty: 28/33 @ 85%
S. Ryan: 7/9 @ 78%
T. Kelly-Sines: 8/11 @ 73%

CAMPBELLTOWN: 40/66 @ 61%
K. Haynes: 20/32 @ 63%
R. Lewis: 20/34 @ 59%