Eastwood Ryde have claimed a spot in the Division 3 DOOLEYS State League Grand Final after a commanding 48-27 victory over St George in the Major Semi Final tonight (Thursday 9 July) at Netball Central. Hills District overcame Sutherland Shire, 53-49, in the Minor Semi to advance and meet St George in next week’s Preliminary Final.
Major Semi Final: Eastwood Ryde 48 def St George 27
St George struggled to capitalize on possession early in the Major Semi Final with Eastwood Ryde breaking away to a 10-2 advantage midway through the opening quarter. St George started to make headway in the closing minutes of the first quarter. Eastwood Ryde leading by just four at the first break, 11-7.
Defensive in the goal thirds was disrupting both teams but Eastwood Ryde handled the early pressure better to break away and lead by nine, 19-10, midway through the term. St George were able to force turnovers however to keep within seven goals at the main break, 21-14.
The two teams traded intercepts as defence from both teams stepped up but St George were unable to stop Eastwood Ryde for long, the Minor Premiers going on to score 16 goals in the third quarter to lead 37-21 at the final break.
Eastwood Ryde carried the momentum into the final quarter and never looked like being headed, running out to victory by 21 goals, 48-27.
Minor Semi Final: Hills District 53 def Sutherland Shire 49
It was goal-for-goal early in the Minor Semi Final, all level at 7-7 before Sutherland rattled off four quick goals to set up a 14-10 lead at the first break.
There were some spectacular long bombs from both teams in the second quarter but Sutherland had the edge, escaping by as many as eight goals before Hills started to up their defensive pressure in the goal circle to start to close the gap. An amazing end-to-end play from Hills closed the quarter, taking only two passes to get under the post, the goal converted as the clock wound down to close back within five goals at halftime, 27-22.
Hills continued to close the gap in the third quarter, threatening before finally leveling at 35-goals apiece before a group defensive effort from Hills forced the turnover to give them the go-ahead goal. Sutherland would score only once more in the period as Hills stormed home in the final minute to set up a 39-36 lead at the final break.
After the two teams were split by only one goal the last time they met it was a fitting final quarter in the Minor Semi Final as Sutherland tried to level once more, coming up with some impressive intercepts but Hills District held strong to complete their come-from-behind victory and win a spot in the Preliminary Final.
The Division Three Preliminary Final will be played next Thursday 16 July at Netball Central from 8:30pm