Eastwood Ryde claim Division 3 title

Eastwood Ryde (ERNA) have claimed the 2015 DOOLEYS State League Division 3 title after overcoming a spirited Hills District (HDNA) outfit 62-42 in tonight’s Grand Final at Netball Central.

It was a thrilling contest that’s everything a title decider should be, however ERNA were able to capitalise on a strong start to force their opposition into chase mode from the opening quarter.

Head Coach Sandy Attard was full of praise for her ERNA charges, saying the hard yard done earlier in the year and earned them the spoils tonight.

“They’re just a fabulous group of girls and they’ve worked hard all season – as everyone does! – but they’ve just come together [at the right time],” Attard claimed.

“They really are the epitome of team; they back each other up, and they have a great time playing together, and that’s what makes a great season I think. That and winning helps!”

HDNA enjoyed a strong start to the title decider, getting out to an early lead before ERNA settled into the match.  Finding the equaliser with just under 10 minutes to the break, ERNA went on a strong run to open a handy lead over their opposition.

This was partly due to some strong defensive pressure from their midcourters who were able to keep the ball in their attacking third; their tall Goal Shooter providing a strong target in the circle, and equally as damaging when going to the post.

Whilst unable to completely pull away from HDNA, ERNA were able to take a handy four-goal buffer into the first break.

Taking their momentum into the second quarter, ERNA charged their way into the contest; outscoring their opposition five goals to one in the opening minutes. However HDNA weren’t to be discouraged, working hard to stay in the contest through strong defensive pressure and speedy transitional play.

Over a period of a few minutes HDNA enjoyed a purple patch with their shooters capitalising on possession gains created by their teammates defensive efforts.  But the good times wouldn’t last as ERNA retained their control – their defenders working hard to cover HDNA’s shooters, whilst at the other end their shooters kept the scoreboard ticking over.

The effort saw ERNA extend their advantage at half-time, leading HDNA 27-21 at the big break.

Whilst looking at a six-goal deficit, HDNA re-entered the court with a bang for the start of the second half by posting three unanswered goals to set Netball Central spectators alight. ERNA weren’t to be overawed as they continued to control the ball when in possession – refusing to be rushed as they worked the ball patiently, waiting for the right option.

The tactic worked in the Minor Premier’s favour as they once more took control of the match, quickly getting out to a double-digit lead with under five minutes until the final break. But HDNA worked hard to get the deficit back down to nine goals at the match headed into the final 15 minutes.

While ERNA were able to hit the scoreboard first once again with another back-to-back goals efforts, the final quarter was an arm wrestle of an affair as HDNA refused to give up the chase. With their players throwing everything into the contest, HDNA began to chip away at their scoreboard disadvantage.

But time wasn’t on their side as ERNA finished out the match without losing a beat, going on to finish 20-goal Champions.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
ERNA│ Q1: 17 – Q2: 27 (10) – Q3: 42 (15) – Q4: 62 (20)
HDNA│ Q1: 13 – Q2: 21 ( 8) – Q3: 33 (11) – Q4: 42 (9)

Shooting Statistics
ERNA: 62/71 @ 87%
A. Cairns: 44/51 @ 86%
M. Gollan: 18/20 @ 90%

HDNA: 42/65 @ 65%
A. Lees: 24/40 @ 60%
G. Seed: 18/25 @ 72%

2015 DOOLEYS State League – Division 3 Fixtures/Results
Thurs 9 July 8:30pm Major Semi Final Eastwood Ryde 48 d St George 27
Minor Semi Final Hills District 53 d Sutherland Shire 49
Thurs 16 July 8:30pm Preliminary Final Hills District 57 d St George 41
Thurs 23 July 8:30pm Grand Final Eastwood Ryde 62 d Hills District 42