Eastwood Ryde has secured a place in the 2013 DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup Grand Final following a thrilling three goal victory over Baulkham Hills, 47-44, in tonight’s Preliminary Final.
The result means Eastwood Ryde will meet defending Champions Sutherland Shire next Wednesday night, 24 July at 7pm, in a rematch of last season’s Grand Final.
The game had all the twist and turns of a Preliminary Final, with both sides having opportunities to clinch a Grand Final birth, but it was Eastwood Ryde who were more consistent across the four quarters to ultimately claim the victory.
Eastwood Ryde co-coach Anita Keelan said her charges were coming good at the right end of the season.
“We’re always just looking for a good result … we’re really feel like we are starting to hit our straps at the right time,” Keelan said.
“Very happy with our patience tonight, our error rate was a lot better than it has been throughout the season,” concluded Keenan.
While both teams started the match going goal for goal, it was Eastwood Ryde who pulled out to a four goal lead midway through the first quarter before Baulkham Hills regathered their composure, reducing the deficit to two at quarter time, 12-10.
The ball was moved up and down the court at a frenetic pace during the second quarter, with both sides dominating long sections of the period; Eastwood Ryde getting out to a five goal lead thanks to sublime work by the midcourt trio of WA Tiffany Normand, C Emily Keenan and WD Sophie Halpin, but a seven goal run by a rampaging Baulkham Hills saw them hit the lead by a solitary goal, 24-23, at the main break.
There’s no bigger cliché in sport than the “championship quarter” but it was again the case this evening, as Eastwood Ryde’s defensive circle pairing of GD Jessica Calderara and GK Jessica Mansell put huge pressure on the Baulkham Hills’ shooters, which showed in the statistics with GS Vanessa Mullampy and GA Alix McDermott shooting at only 55% for the quarter (6 shots from 11).
Starting the final quarter with a five goal advantage, 35-30, Eastwood Ryde demonstrated a real dominance across the court to extend their lead on three occasions to nine. However, an injury time-out called by Baulkham Hills midway through the quarter changed the momentum of the game, and on the back of intense full court pressure and fluidity in front of goal, Baulkham Hills score seven of the final eight goals of the match, but the final whistle came too soon for the fairy-tale comeback.
After the game, an elated Eastwood Ryde Captain, Joanne Day, said the team had to dig deep to get the victory and were really excited about next week’s Grand Final appearance.
“It’s always great to make the Grand Final, I think Baulkham Hills came out and as always put on a really good fight,” said Day.
“They’re a strong side, they made us work the whole 60 minutes and we came really close to losing it … I think our team just kept pushing and pushing, because we want to make it to next week and we did, so we’re really excited,” Day beamed.
Eastwood Ryde, who finished the regular season in third place, will meet the inform team of the season, with Sutherland Shire going through the 2013 DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup competition undefeated.
The Grand Final will be played next Wednesday 24 July at the Anne Clark Centre, Lidcombe. Doors open at 6pm, with first whistle at 7pm.
Baulkham Hills Q1: 10 – Q2: 24 (14) – Q3: 30 (6) – Q4: 44 (14)
Eastwood Ryde Q1: 12 – Q2: 23 (11) – Q3: 35 (12) – Q4: 47 (12)
Baulkham Hills: 44/57 @ 77%
Vanessa Mullampy: 21/28 @ 75%
Alix McDermott: 23/29 @ 79%
Eastwood Ryde: 47/60 @ 78%
Amy Sommerville: 26/35 @ 74%
Joanne Day: 21/25 @ 84%
Teams Starting Positions
Baulkham Hills: GS Vanessa Mullampy, GA Alix McDermott, WA Victoria Trist, C Lauren Houghton, WD Samantha May, GD Lauren Mellenbergh, GK Madeleine Smith
Eastwood Ryde: GS Amy Sommerville, GA Joanne Day, WA Tiffany Normand, C Emily Keenan, WD Sophie Halpin, GD Jessica Calderara, GK Jessica Mansell