Bankstown City (BCNA) have claimed an exciting 48-44 victory over Baulkham Hills Shire (BHSNA) in the DOOLEYS State League Division Five Preliminary Final at Netball Central on Monday evening, progressing to next week’s Grand Final where they will meet Eastwood Ryde.
BHSNA were the first to blink in an evenly contested opening five minutes of the Preliminary Final, with Bankstown City claiming back to back goals to jump out to a 6-3 lead. With BCNA maintaining their three goal advantage, the BHSNA midcourt trio took matters into their own hands and played a huge role in helping their team reduce the margin to just one goal, 8-7, with four minutes remaining in the opening term. However, BCNA up the ante in defence, turning over crucial possession, claiming three straight goals to lead, 12-9, at the quarter-time.
After the resumption, BHSNA scored a quick goal to reduce the margin to just two, but BCNA were swift in their response to move the scoreboard along to 16-12 after only three minutes of the second quarter. In a high quality, high tempo affair, BHSNA kept fighting and pegged the margin back to two goals on a number of occasions, but City repelled the pressure and capitalised upon their opportunities to race out to a 21-16 lead with five minutes left on the clock. It was a gap they maintained and extended upon in the closing stages of the term, taking to the bench at half-time with a eight goal lead, 26-18.
BHSNA made three changes for the third quarter and their impact was felt instantly, with the new blood helping reduced the margin to three goals, 27-24, after only four minutes. A time out to BCNA’s wing attack couldn’t slow BHSNA’s momentum, with the margin reduced even further, 28-26, much to the delight of their vocal supporters. However, as is the beauty of netball, BCNA capitalise upon their opponent’s first miss on goal of the term to convert their break and go back to back, extending their advantage to five goals. As they had shown throughout the season, this BHSNA team are fighters, and every member lifted both on and off the ball to slowing reduce the deficit until they levelled the match at 34-all with 1’ 44 showing on the clock. Twenty seconds later, BHSNA had completed an impressive 17-goal quarter to claim the three-quarter time lead, 35-34.
BCNA notched up three straight goals to open the final quarter to lead, 37-35, further extending their upper hand to five inside four minutes. BHSNA’s injured goal defender called time out with 10’ 33 left in the Preliminary Final and had to be replaced in the defensive line. Inspired work by both sets of circle defenders restricted their opponents from troubling the scorers bench, with BCNA maintaining a precarious four goal margin through the middle stanza of the term. But when the Major Semi Finalists jumped out to a six goal lead with less than four minutes to play, you sensed victory was theirs; in the end running out 48-44 winners and progressing to the Grand Final where they will meet the Minor Premiers, Eastwood Ryde.
BCNA l Q1: 12 – Q2: 14 (26) – Q3: 8 (34) – Q4: 14 (48)
BHSNA l Q1: 9 – Q2: 9 (18) – Q3: 17 (35) – Q4 8 (44)