NSW 21/U team has come from behind to claim a 13 goal victory over Queensland, 49-36, in the final round robin match of the 21/U National Netball Championships. NSW finished in overall third position, and will now meet South Australia in the second Semi Final being played tomorrow, Saturday 15 March.
NSW took an early lead in the opening quarter, but a fight back from a vocal QLD side score consecutive goals to take command of the scoreline. NSW were able to even the score again, but a fast moving QLD were quick on the rebound to go into the first break with a slim three goal lead, 12-9.
Once again NSW opened the score for the start of the quarter and were able to even the scoreboard. However, as it happened in the first, QLD put in consecutive goals by finding their tall GA Gretel Tippet to again pull their lead out to three goals.
An injury timeout saw Donnay van Taak come onto C, but QLD maintained their momentum to hold a two goal lead at half time, 19-17.
Head Coach Maria Lynch introduced tall timber Kristina Brice at GS for the start of the second half, and her impact was immediately felt with NSW taking the lead within the first four minutes. The pairing of GD Kristiana Manu’a and GA Tippett was a thrilling match-up, with both players pulling out some spectacular plays to give their team a boost.
NSW were able to continue their fight-back to take a three goal lead at the final break, 31-28.
Kaitlyn Bryce was reintroduced to WA for the final quarter, with NSW once again opening the scoring. NSW were able to work through the basics; putting defensive pressure on every QLD pass and backing each other up on court.
In the end NSW were able to outscore QLD 18 goals to eight for the quarter to claim a 13 goal victory to claim third position and a spot in the semi-finals for a chance at the 2013 21/U Nationals title.
NSW Captain Alix McDermott said it was great to experience that “winning feeling”.
“It was a really tough match, which is what we expected from Queensland. We are a really relentless team and proved that on the scoreboard today,” said McDermott.
With the 21/U ladder confirmed after the final round robin match, McDermott says the team will turn their attention to SA for their Semi Final tomorrow.
“[NSW teams] always aim to push the boundaries and build … meeting SA is always a hard match but we are positive that we can take it to them and win to book a spot in the Grand Final on Sunday,” McDermott concluded.
NSW will be back on court at ACT Netball Association tomorrow (Saturday 16 March) at 1.00pm to take on SA in the second Semi Final, to fight out for a place in the Grand Final on Sunday. In the other semi-final, Victoria will take on Western Australia at 11.30am.
21/U Nationals Finals Fixtures
Saturday 16 March
11.30am – Semi Final 1: VIC v WA
1.00pm – Semi Final 2: SA v NSW
Sunday 17 March
10.00am – ACT v QLD
11.30pm –Prelim Final: Loser SF 1 (VIC v WA) v Loser SF 2 (SA v NSW)
1.00pm – GRAND FINAL: Winner SF 1 (VIC v WA) v Winner SF 2 (SA v NSW)
NSW Q1: 9 – Q2: 17 (8) – Q3: 31 (14) – Q4: 49 (18)
QLD Q1: 12 – Q2: 19 (7) – Q3: 28 (9) – Q4: 36 (8)
NSW: 49/55 @ 89%
Alix McDermott: 22/25 @ 88%
Kaitlyn Bryce: 5/8 @ 63%
Kristina Brice: 22/22 @ 100%
QLD: 36/53 @ 68%
Lauren Scully: 15/24 @ 63%
Gretel Tippett: 21/29 @ 72%
Teams Starting Positions
GS Alix McDermott (c)
GA Kaitlyn Bryce
WA Emilee Lang
C Sophie Halpin (vc)
WD Katie Maguire
GD Kristiana Manu’a
GK Karli Ireland
GS Lauren Scully
GA Gretel Tippett
WA Stephanie O’Brien
C Claire Haig
WD Taylor Olzard
GD Maddie Walsh
GK Laura Clemesha (c)