The Canberra GIANTS defeated the Netball NSW Waratahs in the team’s second Australian Netball League clash of the weekend at the Genea Netball Centre on Sunday, 19 February.
It was a high-intensity battle and great entertainment for the fans who made the journey to Sydney Olympic Park as the GIANTS toughed it out against a committed and talented Waratahs outfit to secure a one-goal win, 46-45.
The Waratahs won the first game between the sides on Saturday night meaning both sides secured ANL wins on the opening weekend of the competition, but on Sunday it was better accuracy under the post by the GIANTS that meant the teams were 1-1 for their two days’ work.
It was the GIANTS who got off to the better start with good midcourt work allowing attacking pair Melissa Tallent and Kiera Austin play well off each other to open a 6-2 lead early on.
The Waratahs then enjoyed a purple patch as Sophie Halpin and Tayla Fraser combined well to ensure a good feed of possession into the shooters Alison Miller and Mikaela Vaughan, who had their side back within one five minutes from the first break.
The GIANTS finished the quarter stronger, however, as good link work between centre Madeline Woods, Austin and Tallent helped them to a three-goal lead at quarter-time.
The Waratahs came out with higher intensity in the second quarter as Nicole Deegenaars and Faser got a good supply going into Miller who was converting her chances. Vaughan was also starting to find her range and midway through the second period the Waratahs had a two-goal advantage.
That lead was also down to good defence with young goal keeper Olivia Coleman making some vital intercepts and deflections.
But back came the GIANTS as Taylah Davies, Maddie Hay and Toni Anderson showed some great skill, and sleight of hand, to put Austin and Tallent in range to help their side regain the three-goal lead at half time.
A fast and furious second half start by the Canberra GIANTS – a joint venture between Netball NSW and Netball ACT – saw them race out to an eight-goal lead closing in on the third quarter but the Waratahs didn’t fold and fought well to reduce the deficit to five at the final break and keep the contest well and truly alive.
And the comeback continued early in the last quarter as the Waratahs piled on pressure in the midcourt and reaped the rewards. Replacement Goal Shooter Georgia Marshall was working well in tandem with Vaughan to reward the midcourters’ efforts, while in defence the Waratahs were harrying with good effect and first to every loose ball.
There was just two between the sides with five minutes remaining and, with the game in the balance, support from both sides grew more vocal. When the GIANTS scored three goals in succession the nerves intensified.
One goal separated the teams with a minute left and it was down to the side who showed most composure at the death – a vital intercept by Super Netball star Davies proved to be a match-winner which ensured the GIANTS got home by one.
WATCH ANL AT THE GENEA NETBALL CENTRE
Saturday 25 February – Waratahs v Force, GIANTS v Sting – GNC from 4pm – TICKETS
Sunday 26 February – Waratahs v Force, GIANTS v Sting – GNC from 11am – TICKETS
Saturday 25 March – Waratahs v Magpies – GNC – 4pm – TICKETS
Saturday 1 April – GIANTS v Fusion – GNC – 5pm – TICKETS
Sunday 2 April – GIANTS v Fusion – GNC – 12pm – TICKETS
WARATAHS: Q1: 10, Q2: 23 (13), Q3: 33 (10), Q4: 45 (12)
GIANTS: Q1: 13, Q2: 26 (13), Q3: 38 (12), Q4: 46 (8)
WARATAHS: GS Alison Miller, GA Mikaela Vaughan, WA Tayla Fraser, C Nicole Deegenaars, WD Sophie Halpin, GD Nicole Styles, GK Olivia Coleman
GIANTS: GS Melissa Tallent, GA Kiera Austin, WA Taylah Davies, C Madeline Woods, WD Maddie Hay, GD Toni Anderson, GK Sarah Tatam
WARATAHS: 45/68 @ 66%
A Miller: 16/21 @ 77%
M Vaughan: 16/30 @ 53%
G Marshall: 13/17 @ 77%
GIANTS: 46/55 @ 84%
M Tallent: 28/32 @ 88%
K Austin: 18/23 @ 79%
Photo: Nigel Owen