St George leads the way in Waratah Cup

St George have got off to a flying start to the 2014 DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup, remaining the only undefeated side after the first three rounds.

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The Moira Gaha-led St George overcame a spirited Sutherland Shire in Round 3 on Wednesday 2 April, with a strong first quarter performance setting up the nine-goal win.  After St George ran out to lead 21-11 at the first break, Sutherland Shire regathered and through their experienced shooting duo Melissa Tallent and Leah Shoard, began chipping away at the scoreboard deficit.

However St George had their own personnel to combat Sutherland’s sharp shooters, with GD Nicole Styles and GK Kristiana Manu’a combining well to shut down the free movement and easy passes into the circle.

Sutherland showed why they’ve featured in the Grand Final three times in the last four seasons, using all their experience to work the ball patiently down the court while placing hands-over pressure on every St George pass to create the turnover.

In the end despite Sutherland Shire winning the second half 32 goals to 27, St George’s first half set them up to take honours 62-53 in the high-scoring match.

On the other court Waratah Cup newcomers City of Sydney/Sydney Uni also put on a dominant first quarter performance to take a seven-goal victory over Baulkham Hills – their second win for the 2014 season.

NSW Swifts teammates Maddie Hay and Gretel Tippett took the court for opposing teams, with Tippett a feature for CSNA/Sydney Uni in the circle while Hay took on a defensive role for Baulkham Hills in WD.

It was Tippett and her CSNA/Sydney Uni teammates who set off at a blinding rate from the first whistle, pushing out to a 17-9 lead at the first break.  Tippett combined well with 2014 NSW 21/U shooter Claudia Russell, with the two tall shooters moving well for tall targets, and by half-time had extended their lead to 12 goals.

However much like the St George v Sutherland Shire match, Baulkham Hills regathered for the second half.  After experienced campaigner Nardia Macdonald moved into the C position, Baulkham Hills began to take control of the game.  Treasuring possession, their midcourters patiently worked the ball to Russell’s 21/U State teammate Kristina Brice to claw back the deficit on the scoreboard.

Despite scoring 18 goals in the second half, CSNA/Sydney Uni were able to hold off a resurgent Baulkham Hills to claim victory 48-41.

In the earlier timeslot defending champions Eastwood Ryde accounted for Newcastle, defeating the Hunter side 58-32, while Liverpool City and Manly-Warringah played out a thriller with the Northern Beaches side taking honours, 54-46.

It was Liverpool City who hit the lead first, opening up a handy lead before Manly-Warringah settled to storm home in the final minutes of the first quarter.  With tall GS Cristy Linaker a strong target for Manly-Warringah in the circle they were able to score quickly.  However Liverpool City showed spirit and determination, moving the ball quickly from turnovers for their shooters to bring them back into the game.

Although eight goals down at half-time, Liverpool City came flying out of the blocks for the start of the second half, their GK not giving Linaker any space and forcing NSW 21/U Goal Attack Lauren Cantwell to put up shots from further out.

Soon Liverpool City had evened the score, however some quick play from Manly-Warringah saw them take a slim two-goal buffer into the final break.  Once again Liverpool City scored consecutive goals to level, with the two sides trading goals for much of the final 15 minutes.  Manly-Warringah were able to make the most of their possession and finished strongly to post an eight-goal victory.

Although producing some patches of talented netball, Newcastle were unable to match 2013 winners Eastwood Ryde, who showed why they are the reigning champions.  With talent across the court, Eastwood Ryde produced some slick play to finish 26-goal victors, with the two ‘Jessicas’ – Calderara and Mansell – once again proving a dominant defensive combination.

Assisted by their defensive midcourters out front, the circle defenders worked in tandem to shut down any free space and movement for the Newcastle shooters.  Once they created the turnover, the midcourters used their speed to quickly move the ball down to their shooting circle where Sally Cain, Captain Jo Day and NSW 21/U Captain Amy Sommerville kept the scoreboard ticking over.

NetballNSWTV caught up with Eastwood Ryde Head Coach Jen Wright to get her thoughts on the 2014 DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup season thus far.

“I think the girls started quite well this evening and there’s been games previously that we’ve started really well but it’s just really [about] finding that consistency and when we make changes really getting into those changes and settling quickly,” Wright said.

Watch more from the Eastwood Ryde coach, plus highlights from Round 3, below;

DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup action continues next Wednesday 9 April – check out the Round 4 fixtures on the Netball NSW State League App and come down and support your favourite teams!

DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup – Round 3 Results
Liverpool City│ Q1: 10 – Q2: 18 (8) – Q3: 36 (18) – Q4: 46 (10)
Manly-Warringah│ Q1: 16 – Q2: 26 (10) – Q3: 38 (12) – Q4: 54 (16)

Eastwood Ryde│ Q1: 18 – Q2: 33 (21) – Q3: 44 (11) – Q4: 58 (14)
Newcastle│ Q1: 7 – Q2: 16 (9) – Q3: 28 (12) – Q4: 32 (4)

Sutherland Shire│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 21 – Q3: 38 (17) – Q4: 53 (15)
St George│ Q1: 21 – Q2: 35 (14) – Q3: 49 (14) – Q4: 62 (13)

Baulkham Hills│ Q1: 9 – Q2: 18 (9) – Q3: 29 (11) – Q4: 41 (12)
CSNA/Syd Uni│ Q1: 17 – Q2: 30 (13) – Q3: 38 (8) – Q4: 48 (10)