Eastwood through to Grand Final

Eastwood Ryde has secured a chance to defend their 2013 title after defeating Sutherland Shire, 50-42, in tonight’s (Wednesday 16 July) DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup Preliminary Final at the Anne Clark Centre.

It’s the third consecutive Waratah Cup title decider for Eastwood Ryde, who will now meet 2014 Minor Premiers St George next Wednesday 23 July at 7pm.

Head Coach Jen Wright admitted to “almost being speechless” but said she was extremely proud of her team’s determination.

“It’s really exciting … I had the belief that we could do it, I just knew that we’ve been building in the last few weeks and I knew that if the girls came out here tonight and had that self-belief as a team, that we could beat anyone on the day.  It was awesome seeing the girls execute that tonight,” Wright said.

“Finals netball is always different.  St George have been such a strong team all year; we’ve just got to put our best out there on the court and hope that we can come out with the goods in the end.”

It was a tight tussle for the opening quarter of the Preliminary Final with Sutherland making the most of their possession gains, opening out to a small lead.  However the defending Champions wouldn’t give in, keeping in touch with their opponents to trail by just two at the first break.

2014 NSW Swift Carla Dziwoki returned to the Sutherland side, making an immediate impact in the shooting circle.  Her on-court stoush with Eastwood goal keeper and former Swift Jessica Mansell was a highlight, with the two athletes pushing each other to perform at their very best.

Down the other end Eastwood shooters Amy Sommerville and Captain Jo Day worked the circle in tandem, forcing Sutherland’s defenders to work overtime to limit their free movement.  Australian 19/U squad member Toni Anderson in particular showed her athleticism with good arms over pressure, as well as handy touches to turnover the ball.

In a thrilling first half of Finals netball, Sutherland were able to extend their lead at the final break to five goals, 26-21.

2014 NSW 21/U Captain Sommerville opening the scoring for the second half, with a long-range goal to lift her Eastwood teammates.  However the resurgence wouldn’t last long as Sutherland GD Anderson would cut off the next three passes into the circle.

Still the defending Champions wouldn’t be discouraged; with their defence end firing – including some terrific individual plays from GD Laura McLaren – Eastwood were able to stay in touch with Sutherland.  With a goal in the dying seconds, Eastwood went into the final break trailing by just one goal.

The momentum remained with the defending Champions, with Eastwood scoring the first two goals of the final 15 minutes to take the lead.  However former Swift Leah Shoard found the post seconds later for Sutherland to once again even the score.

This trend would continue until a tip-toeing Sophie Halpin would take a crucial intercept on edge of Sutherland’s shooting circle to give Eastwood the opportunity to open up a handy three-goal lead before the Shire side called a time out.

The break couldn’t disrupt Eastwood Ryde who put up 18 goals in the final quarter to finish eight-goal victors and book their spot in next week’s Grand Final against St George.

Make sure you come out to the Anne Clark Centre to cheer on your favourite team to 2014 Championship winning victory!

Watch the highlights on NetballNSWTV below:

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
EASTWOOD│ Q1: 12 – Q2: 21 (9) – Q3: 32 (11) – Q4: 50 (18)
SUTHERLAND│ Q1: 14 – Q2: 26 (12) – Q3: 33 (7) – Q4: 42 (9)

Shooting Statistics
EASTWOOD: 50/60 @ 83%
A Sommerville: 24/29 @ 83%
J Day: 26/31 @ 84%

SUTHERLAND: 42/52 @ 81%
C Dziwoki: 20/23 @ 87%
L Shoard: 22/29 @ 76%

Starting Line-ups
EASTWOOD│ GS Amy Sommerville, GA Joanne Day (c), WA Tanisha Stanton, C Emily Keenan, WD Sophie Halpin, GD Laura McLaren, GK Jessica Mansell
SUTHERLAND│ GS Carla Dziwoki, GA Leah Shoard, WA Hayley Bright, C Nicole Medulla, WD Jacqueline Rikard-Bell, GD Toni Anderson, GK Karli Ireland

Positional Changes
EASTWOOD│ Q3 – WA Keenan, C Tiffany Normand; Q4 – WA Normand, C Keenan.
SUTHERLAND│ Q3 Timeout – WA Tiesha Ojeda, C Bright; Q4 Timeout – WA Bright, C Medulla.

Spectator Entry Fees
Note: Season Passes NOT VALID for Final Series.
GRAND FINAL PRICES – $6 adult; $3 student / concession / child (3-17yo)

DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup – Finals Fixtures
SEMI FINALS: Wednesday 9 July
Major Semi Final: St George 60 d Sutherland Shire 45
Minor Semi Final: Eastwood Ryde 52 d CSNA/Syd Uni 29

PRELIMINARY FINAL: Wednesday 16 July
Eastwood Ryde 50 d Sutherland Shire 42

GRAND FINAL: Wednesday 23 July
St George v Eastwood Ryde @ 7pm