Campbelltown finish on top in thrilling Final

Campbelltown (CDNA) have finished on top in a thrilling 2015 DOOLEYS State League Division 4 Preliminary Final, defeating a spirited City of Sydney/Sydney Uni (CSNA) outfit 41-36 to book their place in next week’s Grand Final.

Scrappy play marred the start of the sudden-death final with nerves having an effect of both sides’ transitional play.  CDNA were the first convert their chances to gain early ascendency over their opponents; by the time CSNA called for a timeout halfway through the opening quarter, CDNA had raced out to a five-goal lead.

CSNA showed promising through their Goal Shooter, who had a strong holding game and was accurate under the post. The trick was to get the ball in her hands, but the defensive pressure displayed from CDNA’s midcourters was strong to starve CSNA’s shooters from possession.

However CNSA’s circle defenders were just as amped for the challenge, turning over vital possession for the attackers to capitalise. While trailing by four goals at the first break, there was an air of a momentum switch as the two sides took to the sidelines.

CSNA had found another gear and returned to the court full of determination. But the settled CDNA outfit were dogged in their defence, not allowing their opposition to get any closer than three goals.  CDNA’s circle defenders worked in tandem to confuse the space, creating no easy ball into the CSNA shooters.

All that changed after CSNA came out firing from a timeout halfway through the quarter, tying up the scoreboard with just over four minutes until half-time. Again CDNA got back out to a three goal lead, but once more CSNA would chase them down.

With scores locked CSNA were unable to convert an opportunity in the final 20 seconds, to send both teams into half-time locked at 19-apiece.

Quick back-to-back goals to CDNA once again forced CSNA into chase mode; the feeling in a lift of intensity was palpable. But as they’d shown in the second quarter, CSNA were up for the fight and continued to bring a strong contest to their opponents.

After seven minutes of play in the second half, CSNA were able to hit the front for the first time in the match – the sides trading goals until a vital intercept to CSNA Wing Defence gave her shooters a chance to claim a handy three-goal buffer.

The pressure of being in chase mode did little to quell CDNA’s confidence, who were able to take back the lead within the last minute; CSNA again finding the equaliser with seconds to spare to send the match into an exciting final 15 minutes.

Fatigue began to creep into each side’s game after the toll of a physical and speedy previous three quarters showed.  It set up a scrappy yet thrilling finale to the Preliminary Final with CDNA and CSNA fighting for their season.

Fuelled by their vocal supporters, CDNA found an extra gear as they enjoyed a purple patch – putting up six goals in the first five minutes to gain back the lead. Using their transverse line continuously, CDNA worked the ball patiently to find the safest route to their shooters; time on their side, whilst it quickly ticked away for their opponents.

In the end the tactic worked and with CSNA throwing away valuable possession in their desperation to chase down the deficit, CDNA went on to finish five goal victors and book their place in the 2015 title decider against Blue Mountains next Thursday 23 July at Netball Central.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
CSNA│ Q1: 6 – Q2: 19 (13) – Q3: 29 (10) – Q4: 36 (7)
CDNA│ Q1: 10 – Q2: 19 (9) – Q3: 29 (10) – Q4: 41 (12)

2015 DOOLEYS State League – Division 3 Fixtures/Results
Thurs 9 July 7:00pm Major Semi Final Blue Mountains 49 d City of Sydney/Sydney Uni 33
    Minor Semi Final Campbelltown 43 d Illawarra 29
Thurs 16 July 7:00pm Preliminary Final Campbelltown 41 d City of Sydney/Sydney Uni 36
Thurs 23 July 7:00pm Grand Final Blue Mountains v Campbelltown