NSW has delivered a seven goal loss to Queensland in their Round Six match of the 17/U National Netball Championships in Darwin. The 17s exacted revenge after QLD defeated NSW in the 19/U match earlier in the day.
It was a tough and physical match from the get-go with QLD starting the match strongest, scoring seven goals in the first five minutes whilst keeping NSW to just one. Both states’ 19/U sides sat in the stands cheering their younger athletes to victory, making it near impossible for the players to hear each other on court.
NSW found their momentum mid-way through the second quarter, as the midcourt moved the ball quickly to their tall shooters, GS Georgia Marshall and GA Lauren Yager. Halfway through the quarter NSW hit the front for the first time, as their tight man-on-man defence put pressure on QLD to force them into errors and turn over possession.
The crowd rode every pass, intercept and goal as the on-court players began to adjust to the deafening noise inside the stadium. Aerial Ashley Valeni again showed off her high-flying abilities, taking rebounds and picking off the high passes from QLD midcourters into the shooting circle.
Down the other end the high ball into 190cm shooter Marshall worked in NSW favour, as they took a handy five goal lead into half-time, 19-14.
Like the start of the match QLD came out firing, putting on a run of goals before NSW found the net. Players were pushed to the limit, making every possession sacred as QLD came close to evening the score. An injury timeout saw Liverpool City midcourter Jade Riley come onto WA, with her speed making an early impact as NSW scored six unanswered goals to see out the third quarter nine goals ahead.
Spectators were on the feet for most of the final quarter, as the two teams fought out on court for a secure spot within the 17/U top four. A late run of goals from QLD saw them close the gap, but it wasn’t enough to catch NSW, who finished seven goals ahead.
One of the more physical games the team has played this week, Head Coach Lenore Blades she is extremely proud her players didn’t falter under the pressure.
“I’m really proud of the girls tonight; it was a tough battle out there both physically and mentally, but they stood up to the challenge and got the win,” said Blades.
“We spoke a lot today about maintaining our intensity, knowing tonight was almost a ‘must-win’ game for both states with regards to finals.”
“Tonight was a great game to expose to the team what National Finals are like, but we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. Tomorrow we have Tassie, who you can never underestimate … we are taking the match very seriously as another ‘must-win’ to give ourselves the best chance for Finals. Then it starts all over again,” Blades concluded.
NSW 17/U is back tomorrow, Thursday 8 April, when they take on Tasmania for their final round-robin matches. The 17/U State Team is first up at 12.30pm, before the 19/U State Team at 2.00pm. Stay tuned to facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW for quarter score updates and photos.
NSW Q1: 6 – Q2: 19 (13) – Q3: 27 (8) – Q4: 33 (6)
QLD Q1: 9 – Q2: 14 (5) – Q3: 18 (4) – Q4: 26 (8)
NSW: 33/43 @ 77%
Georgia Marshall: 23/33 @ 70%
Lauren Yager: 10/10 @ 100%
QLD: 26/35 @ 74%
Cara Koenen: 7/11@ 64%
Abigail Latu-Meafou: 16/20 @ 80%
Ruby Paton: 3/4 @ 75%
Teams Starting Positions
NSW: GS Georgia Marshall (c), GA Lauren Yager (vc), WA Charlotte Jasprizza, C Elyssa Pierce, WD Natasha Strachan, GD Cassandra Radford, GK Ashley Valeni
QLD: GS Cara Koenen, GA Abigail Lath-Meafou, WA Hayley Walsh, C Josephine Hungerford, WD Jemma Mimi, GD Lenora Misa, GK Ashlee Unie
NSW Position Changes
Q3 Timeout: Jade Riley WA; Q4 Timeout: Toni Anderson GK