Hawkesbury City have booked their place in the 2015 DOOLEYS State League Division 8 Grand Final after a come-from-behind victory over Minor Premiers, Kurri Kurri/Hunter Flyers. Trailing their opposition for much of the match, Hawkesbury mounted a fightback during the third quarter to finish two goal victors; turning around a 22-goal loss to Kurri Kurri just two weeks earlier.
The Minor Premiers will have another chance to make the title decider when they meet Hills District in next week’s Preliminary Final after Hills defeated Central Coast, 48-40, to advance another week into Finals Series.
Major Semi Final: Hawkesbury City n34 d Kurri Kurri/Hunter Flyers 32
Kurri Kurri (KKNA) made their intentions known early with their Goal Defence turning over Hawkesbury City’s (HCNA) first centre pass in the opening 10 seconds. The possession gain gave the Minor Premiers a psychological edge early, with KKNA’s sharp shooting handing the Hunter side an early buffer.
However HCNA weren’t to be discouraged as the fought hard to stay within touch. It was a hard-fought contest in Hawkesbury’s attacking end, with plenty pressure over every pass making it no easy feat for the shooters to gain possession.
While KKNA looked to have control over the match, HCNA hit their strides halfway through the second quarter – mounting a comeback which would see them claw back the deficit as the clock drew towards half-time.
KKNA were impressive in their quick transitional play, but it was their long-range accuracy and dogged defence which steered them to a two goal advantage at the big break, 19-17.
HCNA continued their good form into the second half, opening the scoring with back-to-back goals to soon even the scoreboard for the first time. But it would be as close as KKNA would allow them as the continued to hold on to the advantage, never allowing HCNA take the lead through strong defensive teamwork.
With pressure mounting, nothing could separate the two sides as they headed into the final 15 minutes locked at 26 goals apiece.
With a place in the 2015 Grand Final on the line, HCNA came out firing for the final quarter, stringing together three unanswered goals to get a handy lead early. HCNA transitioned the ball patiently, safely, for their shooters to capitalise forcing KKNA into chase mode for the first time in the final.
With the minutes ticking down and the scoreboard in favour of HCNA, panic began to creep into KKNA’s game. Throwing everything into the contest, KKNA tried everything to get back into the lead. However HCNA weathered the storm, turning around a 22-goal defeat two weeks ago to post a two-goal victory.
KKNA│ Q1: 13 – Q2: 19 (6) – Q3: 26 (7) – Q4: 32 (6)
HCNA│ Q1: 8 – Q2: 17 (9) – Q3: 26 (9) – Q4: 34 (8)
Minor Semi Final: Hills District 48 d Central Coast 40
Nothing could separate the two sides as they traded goals for much of the opening 15 minutes. Both shooting ends were fast and mobile, with defenders trying to confuse the space to force doubt into their feeders.
Hills District (HDNA) had a slight upper hand early after starting the match on the front foot, however Central Coast (CCNA) were up to the challenge as they went on a purple patch to get out to a lead by as many as four goals.
But again HDNA would find a way to draw even, setting up a titillating contest for spectators at Netball Central. As the intensity ramped up, so too did the error rate as players picked off passes in transition. The result saw an ugly few minutes as both sides took time to settle; HDNA coming on top to lead by just one goal at the big break.
It was any man’s – or woman’s – game with every possession counting in the tight contest. Just as HDNA looked to put their foot down, CCNA would come right back to stay in touch. Fitness was key as the high intensity never relented. While the third quarter finished on equal footing, HDNA were able to post their third consecutive 11-goal haul to maintain their one goal advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.
With all-or-nothing on the line, HDNA flew out of the blocks for the final quarter as they opened up to a five goal lead – the largest in the match so far – with 10 minutes on the clock. HDNA looked to thrive off the pressure as they didn’t relent, denying CCNA a look-in to keep their season alive.
The result saw a massive final quarter effort from HDNA to outscore their opponents, 15 goals to 8, to advance to next week’s Preliminary Final whilst ending CCNA’s 2015 season.
HDNA│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 22 (11) – Q3: 33 (11) – Q4: 48 (15)
CCNA│ Q1: 13 – Q2: 21 (8) – Q3: 32 (11) – Q4: 40 (8)
|2015 DOOLEYS State League – Division 8 Fixtures/Results|
|Tues 7 July||7:00pm||Major Semi Final||Hawkesbury City 34 d Kurri Kurri/Hunter Flyers 32|
|Minor Semi Final||Hills District 48 d Central Coast 40|
|Tues 14 July||7:00pm||Preliminary Final||Kurri Kurri/Hunter Flyers v Hills District|
|Tues 21 July||7:00pm||Grand Final||Hawkesbury City v Winner Prelim Final|