Exciting comeback gives NSW draw

The NSW 17/U Team have played out a passionate game of 40 minute netball to tie with Queensland, 30-30, in Round 5 of the 2014 National Netball Championships.

Both teams entered the match undefeated with four wins thus far.  NSW were down by as much as seven goals in the opening quarter but chipped away at their opposition with a goal in the dying seconds to ties up the scoreboard.

There were signs of jubilation from the young NSW outfit at the final whistle after saving themselves from their first loss of the tournament, and Head Coach Moira Gaha said she couldn’t fault their passion and hard work ethic.

“I am so pleased.  It was really a full team performance, which has been the heart of this group – everyone does their individual jobs but they pull together as a team.  The whole tournament so far has been a team effort; every game we’ve played everyone has contributed and stepped up,” Gaha said

“After being down by seven at the first break I said we needed to take our turnovers, we needed to convert them, and build on that throughout the game; and the girls did just that.  They were steady, they didn’t really let the emotion of it overcome them, and really pleased to take the draw.

“The more we play together the stronger we get, the stronger we build our team and we’re ready to go out there and do that again this evening against Victoria,” Gaha concluded.

There were plenty of turnovers from both sides which marred the opening minutes of the match, with the opportunity to remain undefeated on the cards.  Through QLD’s agile shooting combination of Abi Latu-Meafou and Binni Hunt, the Maroons were able to jump out to an early lead but NSW stayed in touch.

However a four goal run late in the quarter – as well as one right on the buzzer – gave QLD a seven goal buffer at the first break, 13-6.

Gaha made her first changes for the match, bringing captain Amy Parmenter onto WD to move Lauren Moore back to GK as well as mobile shooter Keira Austin onto GA.  The changes made an immediate impact for NSW who scored three unanswered goals to claw back the scoreboard deficit.

With Moore partnering Radford at GD, as well as Kristen Kessler and Parmenter putting the pressure out front, it took QLD four minutes before they could find the post. By then the intensity had lifted and NSW had a sniff.  Players threw themselves at every contest to win back possession and despite winning the quarter by five goals, NSW trailed QLD 17-15 at half-time.

The second half started in a flurry of activity as NSW brought their momentum from the previous quarter. After taking a terrific intercept on NSW’s defensive transverse line, Austin backed it up by finding the post to tie the scores at 18-18 after just under three minutes of play.

The ball bounced from end to end and after a crucial turnover gave them an opportunity to post consecutive goals, QLD once again hit the front.  However NSW full of belief work hard through the court and although beaten by the buzzer, went into the final break just one goal down to QLD; 24-23.

It was QLD who started the final quarter stronger, pulling out to an early three goal lead to force NSW into chase mode.  With the noise from the stands deafening NSW tried gallantly to chip away at the deficit.

As time began running out for the Blues they wouldn’t give up, forcing spectators onto their feet.  With a couple goals to GS Prudence Ellis, passionate play from Parmenter and O’Brien, as well as some handy intercepts to Moore, NSW were able to tie the score in the dying seconds to post the tournament’s first drawn match for 2014.

NSW will take the court again today at 6:45pm AEST where they will meet hosts Victoria in Round 6.  Stay tuned to Netball NSW social media channels for live score updates throughout the match;
Instagram @netballnsw – using the hashtags #17UNetball #GoNSW

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW│ Q1: 6 – Q2: 15 (9) – Q3: 23 (8) – Q4: 30 (7)
NT│ Q1: 13 – Q2: 17 (4) – Q3: 24 (7) – Q4: 30 (6)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 30/42 @ 71%
Prudence Ellis: 17/22 @ 77%
Loren Singleton: 1/3 @ 33%
Kiera Austin: 12/17 @ 71%

Abi Latu-Meafou: 21/22 @ 95%
Binni Hunt: 6/7 @ 86%
Alexia Baker: 3/5 @ 60%

Starting Line-ups
NSW│ GS Prudence Ellis, GA Loren Singleton, WA Claire O’Brien, C Kristen Kessler, WD Lauren Moore, GD Kirra Jones, GK Cassandra Radford

QLD│ GS Abi Latu-Meafou, GA Binni Hunt, WA Kari Arrow, C Kobe Howard, WD Bryah Gafa, GD Lenora Misa, GK Mia Henderson

Positional Changes
NSW│ Q2 – GA Keira Austin, WD Amy Parmenter, GD Radford, GK Moore.

QLD│ Q3 – GA Alexia Baker, GD Annabella Sorby, GK Misa.