The Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs were narrowly eclipsed by defending Premiers Victorian Fury tonight, going down 71-69, in double extra time in the NSW team’s first of two Week 7 matches at Waverley Netball Centre in the 2014 Australian Netball League.
The NNSW Waratahs will need to recover quickly from the epic battle as tomorrow’s match against Victorian Flames is now a must-win to secure their place in the finals.
In a re-match of the 2013 Grand Final, the NNSW Waratahs led by as many as six goals in the first half but the game went down to the wire with the two teams unable to be separated after regulation and extra time, forced into a sudden-death period to determine a victor.
NNSW Waratahs Head Coach Anita Keelan was proud of the fight shown from her team.
“It was a really good game, we played very well, everything was tightly contested,” Keelan said.
“A couple of unforced errors were enough to change the game, but to the girls’ credit as always, they fought to the very end and backed each other up.
“We’ve got a really big game tomorrow, we’re playing for a Semi Final spot. If we can play like we did tonight in tomorrow’s match and do the little things well, stick to the game plan and keep supporting each other, then we will certainly be in the hunt.”
After the Fury led in the opening minutes, the NNSW Waratahs stole the momentum, hitting the front to lead 17-12 at the first break.
The Fury made a raft of changes heading into the second quarter to try and halt the NNSW Waratahs, injecting 2015 Melbourne Vixens recruit Alice Teague-Neeld in at goal attack, and re-jigging their defensive end with 2015 NSW Swifts recruit Micaela Wilson taking the goal keeper bib and Amy Steel entering the match at goal defence.
The changes took some time to take effect with the NNSW Waratahs’ lead out to six goals midway through the quarter, but a strong final five minutes from the hosts saw them close the gap to four goals at halftime, 30-26.
The NNSW Waratahs brought on Kaitlyn Bryce to WA for the third quarter but the Fury had made their own changes and they paid dividends as the Victorians attack started to hit their stride and they took the lead for the first time midway through the term.
The NNSW Waratahs rallied to level the scores at 43 goals apiece at three-quarter time, setting up a thrilling final quarter.
NNSW Waratahs coach Keelan changed up her team’s defence once again heading into the final stanza but could not halt the Fury for long. The Victorian defenders started to restrict the influence of NNSW Waratahs’ tall target at GS Kristina Brice, and played with patience in attack to work the ball around and go ahead by two goals, 48-46, with 10 minutes left to play.
The NNSW Waratahs were not yet finished and fought back to level 51-51 with five minutes remaining and the crowd on the edge of their seats. Amy Sommerville replaced Leah Shoard at an injury timeout with three minutes left to play but the teams could not be separated in 60 minutes; with scores level at 56-56 at the end of regulation time, the game entered extra time.
While the Fury fired in the opening minutes of extra time, the NNSW Waratahs regathered to level again and force sudden-death Double Extra Time. With every possession crucial Fury WD Caitlyn Strachan pulled in an intercept and when Alice Teague-Neeld converted the Fury had sealed the win.
The NNSW Waratahs return to Waverley Netball Centre tomorrow, Sunday 17 August to take on the Victorian Flames at 12:00pm AEST.
Keep up to date with all the action on the road with Netball NSW’s social media channels;www.facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW, Twitter and Instagram @netballnsw #ANL2014 #GoNSW
NNSW WARATAHS | 17 – 30 (13) – 43 (13) – 56 (13) – 60 (4) ET1 – 66 (6) ET2 – 69 (3) Double ET
VICTORIAN FURY | 12 – 26 (14) – 43 (17) – 46 (13) – 63 (7) ET1 – 66 (3) ET2 – 71 (5) Double ET
NNSW WARATAHS: 69/81 @ 85%
Kristina Brice: 46/51 @ 90%
Leah Shoard: 20/24 @ 83%
Amy Sommerville: 3/6 @ 50%
FURY: 71/80 @ 89%
Erin Hoare: 20/21 @ 95%
Stephanie Puopolo: 21/26 @ 81%
Alice Teague-Neeld: 30/33 @ 91%
NNSW WARATAHS | GS Kristina Brice, GA Leah Shoard, WA Brooke Miller, C Emily Keenan, WD Maddie Hay, GD Kristiana Manu’a, GK Nicole Styles
FURY | GS Erin Hoare, GA Stephanie Puopolo, WA Kelsey Browne, C Caitlyn Strachan, WD Jo Weston, GD Joh Curran, GK Amy Steel
NNSW WARATAHS | 3Q – WA Kaitlyn Bryce; 3Q timeout – GK Jess Calderara; 4Q: GD Calderara, GK Styles; 4Q timeout – GA Amy Sommerville
FURY | 1Q timeout – GD Shannon Eagland; 2Q – GA Alice Teague-Neeld, GD Amy Steel, GK Micaela Wilson; 3Q: GS Puopolo, C Eagland, WD Strachan, GD Wilson, GK Weston
2014 Australian Netball League – Week 7 Fixture
|Waverley Netball Centre, VIC|
|Sat 16 Aug||Victorian Fury v NNSW Waratahs @ 7:00pm|
|Victorian Flames v QLD Fusion @ 8:30pm|
|Sun 17 Aug||Victorian Fury v QLD Fusion @ 10:00am|
|Victorian Flames v NNSW Waratahs @ 12:00pm|
|Marrara Indoor Stadium, NT|
|Sat 16 Aug||Territory Storm v Tassie Spirit @ 4:30pm|
|Southern Force v Western Sting @ 6:30pm|
|Sun 17 Aug||Territory Storm v Southern Force @ 8:00am|
|Western Sting v Tassie Spirit @ 9:30am|
*all times AEST