Ku-ring-gai have claimed the 2016 DOOLEYS Metro League Division 1 title after a 37-31 win over Eastwood Ryde at Netball Central on Thursday, 8 September.
It was a game that was full of grit, effort and commitment from both sides, and while there weren’t many goals scored every member of the vocal crowd in attendance got their money’s worth.
Ku-ring-gai – who got to the Grand Final after finishing fourth on the regular season ladder – got off to a fast and furious start, registering the first four-goals of the game before Eastwood Ryde had a chance to find their feet.
Eastwood did eventually settle to get on the board and after 10 minutes the contest looked nicely balanced at 10-6 to Ku-ring-gai but soon after it was the latter heading to the first break 12-7 in the ascendancy.
It was Eastwood Ryde who were fastest out of the blocks in the second quarter with good accurate attack allowing them to reduce the gap to 14-10 midway through the period.
And as the intensity of the game stepped up so did the teams and just a minute out from halftime there was only three between them.
The second quarter of the game wasn’t as high-scoring as the first had been, but it was certainly absorbing as both sides went at the contest hammer and tongs. Eastwood Ryde were the better side in it – going to the big break just 18-15 down – and had the chance to get even closer but a long pass into the shooting circle went astray just before the halftime whistle.
Scoring chances were few and far between at the start of the third quarter in what had become a very physical affair. Eastwood Ryde edged to within two goals early on before opposing goal attack Laura Borkman eased Ku-ring-gai back out to a four-goal advantage.
However that seemed to light a fuse under Eastwood Ryde who came storming back into the game to be level at 23-23 just a few minutes out from the final break.
No chances were coming easy for either side but three quick Borkman scores tipped the contest back in Ku-ring-gai’s favour at three-quarter time (26-23) – a feat aided by some timely deflections by goal keeper Camilla Wright at the other end.
The gap remained three goals for the first half of the final quarter as both teams tried everything to break each other down. Eastwood Ryde had their chances to get closer but weren’t taking them.
The lead was four with five on the clock and if Eastwood Ryde were going to claim the title they were going to have to end the back and forth which was going on between the sides.
With a three-goal lead, and two minutes remaining, Ku-ring-gai simply had to remain clam and take what chances came their way.
They did and saw out a championship win in a cool, professional manner.
Eastwood Ryde | Q1: 7 – Q2: 15 (8) – Q3: 23 (8) – Q4: 31 (8)
Ku-ring-gai | Q1: 12 – Q2: 18 (6) – Q3: 26 (8) – Q4: 37 (11)
Eastwood Ryde: 31/45 @ 69%
Ku-ring-gai: 37/54 @ 69%
Eastwood Ryde: GS Phillipa Craft, GA Jesse Tolomeo, WA Emma Moses, C Claire Lower, WD Erin Looby, GD Debbie Smith-Deans, GK Courtney Moore
Ku-ring-gai: GS Taela Marriott, GA Laura Borkman, WA Katie Hunter, C Sarah Jamieson, WD Kelly Fairborther, GD Grace Timmins, GK Camilla Wright