Bankstown City stun to claim 2015 Division 5 title

Bankstown City (BCNA) has delivered Eastwood Ryde (ERNA) its first loss of the season to be crowned the 2015 DOOLEYS State League Division 5 Champions with a thrilling 37-33 Grand Final victory tonight, Monday 20 July, at Netball Central.

After playing out a thrilling 38-all draw in Round 7, the two teams put on a terrific contest for spectators with BCNA weathering a storm of resurgence from ERNA to be claim the title.

Head Coach Louise Jegers was ecstatic on her BCNA’s efforts, saying it was always going to take something special to defeat the as-yet-undefeated ERNA in the title decider.

“It was a fantastic effort, especially to hold that lead throughout the game. Eastwood Ryde are not a team to be reckoned with – they’ve been the form side all season – so we’ve watched what they’ve been doing and worked really hard on our game plan, and I think my girls just brought it tonight,” Jegers claimed.

“We had nothing to lose – Bankstown played with passion, they were relaxed, and they were really excited to just be here [at the Grand Final].  Commiserations to Eastwood Ryde, but I think our girls just came out fighting and had a great game.”

ERNA took a psychological edge into the match having yet to post a defeat in 2015 – a drawn result in Round 7 (ironically against BCNA) their only blemish.  But it was BCNA who were able to get the upper hand early, slowly but surely getting on top of ERNA after the match began on equal footing.

Halfway through BCNA had doubled ERNA’s score, however the Minor Premiers weren’t to be discourage. Finding their straps ERNA began to piece together some beautiful transitional play which their shooters were able to capitalise.  Only the clock was against their side as it disrupted a purple patch for ERNA who were cruelly denied a late goal to get back to within three goals at the first break.

ERNA didn’t allow the break to disrupt their momentum as they stormed into the second 15 minutes, equalling the scoreboard after four minutes play. This was much in part to a strong defensive pressure that made it difficult for BCNA to find a way past their attacking transverse line.

Locked in another see-sawing battle, the intensity lifted as player threw everything into the contest willing to gain possession. Enjoying the momentum swing ERNA hit the front, forcing BCNA into force mode for the first time in the match. Their opposition responded – their midcourters working overtime to turn over possession in ERNA’s attacking third.

Their efforts – combined with some miscommunication by the shooters in the circle – allowed BCNA to gain back the advantage which they were able to maintain into the half-time break, leading ERNA 19-17.

Early mistakes marred the start of the second half, both sides getting locked into some scrappy play which once again saw BCNA come out on top. Their circle defenders in particular were relentless in confusing the space in ERNA’s circle, while going on the hunt for the high ball.

But they could never shake the Minor Premiers who emerged from a timeout with vengeance to once again level the scores halfway through the third quarter after trailing by as many as three. The resulting five minutes was animated as the crowd found their voice.

In the end ERNA were able to outscore their opposition by one goal for the second consecutive quarter, BCNA holding on to a slim one-goal buffer at the final break.

Trailing by just one goal the Minor Premiers came out firing for the final 15 minutes, but costly errors took the pressure off BCNA as they went on to score the first three unanswered goals to get back out to a handy four-goal buffer.

But ERNA would give up the good fight, keeping within touch of their opposition to keep fans on the edge of their seats. With five minutes left on the clock BCNA were up by five goals – the determination in their transitional play a sign of things to come.

With the clock quickly ticking over ERNA fell afoul of the clock, unable to catch their opposition’s lead with BCNA running out to finish four-goal victors.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
ERNA│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 17 (9) – Q3: 26 (9) – Q4: 33 (7)
BCNA│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 19 (8) – Q3: 27 (8) – Q4: 37 (10)

Shooting Statistics
ERNA: 33/54 @ 61%
BCNA: 37/48 @ 77%

2015 DOOLEYS State League Division 5 – Finals Series Results
Mon 6 July Major Semi Final Eastwood Ryde 49 d Bankstown City 41
Minor Semi Final Baulkham Hills 39 d City of Sydney/Sydney Uni 38
Mon 13 July Preliminary Final Bankstown City 48 d Baulkham Hills 44
Mon 20 July GRAND FINAL Bankstown City 37 d Eastwood Ryde 33