NSW 21/U team has finished in third position after defeating Western Australia, 50-53, in the Preliminary Final at the 2013 21/U National Netball Championships in Canberra.
WA began the match on the front foot, breaking NSW first centre pass to open the score. An intense defensive pressure saw WA push out to a six goal lead halfway through the quarter. However NSW regrouped to pull the goal deficit back to three.
WA used their midcourt speed to their advantage to pull out to a five goal lead at the first break, 16-11.
Head Coach Maria Lynch brought Donnay van Taak on C for NSW as the only change for both sides. The two teams went goal for goal in the second quarter as the ball bounced between the shooting ends. WA Taylah Davies used her speed to break through the WA defensive zone, with NSW slowly closing the gap on the scoreboard.
NSW were able to close an eight goal lead down to three goals, with WA leading at half time, 27-24.
NSW made further changes for the start of the second half, bringing Kaitlyn Bryce and Emilee Lang onto C and WA respectively. The changes made an immediate impact with NSW putting on four quick goals to hit the lead after three minutes of play.
At the injury timeout NSW were out to seven goals and WA made their first changes for the match, bringing on 188cm GS Kaylia Stanton. The move saw Ellie Smart go to GA, Denise Shepley to WA and Numi Tupaea to C. The changes lifted WA to close the gap to just one goal halfway through the third quarter.
However NSW hit another level, led by shooting duo GS Kristina Brice and GA Alix McDermott who put up 17 goals for the quarter compared to WA’s eight to go into the final break six goals up, 41-35.
The final quarter went goal for goal, as NSW tried to hold onto their lead from a resilient WA who used the height in their shooting circle to their advantage. The move saw NSW defensive duo GD Kristiana Manu’a and GK Karli Ireland work overtime as the ball spent plenty of time in their third.
With just over a minute left on the clock WA hit the scoreboard to trail by just two goals with the centre pass in hand. But NSW steadied and, with a goal on the buzzer from their captain McDermott, were able to post a three goal victory to claim third place in the 2013 21/U Nationals.
Reflecting on the last week, Head Coach Maria Lynch said she couldn’t be happier with her team’s performance during the tournament.
“It’s been a heart-stopper all week. We’ve had some tough games, fought hard … and that match today is a testament to the determination these young girls had had,” said Lynch.
Captain Alix McDermott echoed her coach’s sentiments.
“The girls did such a great job all week and we continually built on each game as a unit … to come together and finish off with such a good game is a great ending,” McDermott concluded.
Victoria now take on South Australia in the Grand Final to decide who will be crowned the 2013 21/U National Netball Champions.
21/U National Netball Championships Finals Series
Semi Final 1: VIC 48 def WA 33
Semi Final 2: SA 50 def NSW 45
5th v 6th: ACT 45 def QLD 43
Preliminary Final: NSW 53 def WA 50
1.00pm: GRAND FINAL – VIC v SA
NSW Q1: 11 – Q2: 24 (13) – Q3: 41 (17) – Q4: 53 (12)
WA Q1: 16 – Q2: 27 (11) – Q3: 35 (8) – Q4: 50 (15)
NSW: 53/61 @ 87%
Kristina Brice: 29/34 @ 85%
Alix McDermott: 24/27
WA: 50/66 @ 76%
Ellie Smart: 24/29 @ 83%
Denise Shepley: 11/15 @ 73%
Kaylia Stanton: 15/22 @ 68%
Teams Starting Positions
GS Kristina Brice
GA Alix McDermott (c)
WA Taylah Davies
C Sophie Halpin (vc)
WD Katie Maguire
GD Kristiana Manu’a
GK Karli Ireland
GS Ellie Smart (c)
GA Denise Shepley (vc)
WA Numi Tupaea
C Ingrid Colyer
WD Jessica Eales
GD Eve Guelfi
GK Tamsin Petzer