NSW off to winning start at Nationals

The NSW 17/U Team have kicked their campaign off on a winning start, overcoming a spirited Northern Territory, 47-15, in Round 1 of the 2014 National Netball Championships.

Head Coach Moira Gaha purposely ran two separate lines for the match, wanting to give all her athletes some court time ahead of the week-long tournament.

“We’ve said all along that we have variety in the squad and we have faith in all the girls, so we wanted to get everybody out there today and to run them in the various combinations.  We thought we were definitely strong enough to do that and the girls were playing well and deserved that option,” Gaha said.

“That being said you have to be able to adjust and make changes, and then get back on court and do the job; I think the girls did that today.  We’re really pleased to get started and it was a great all round effort from all 12 girls.”

It was a blistering start from NSW with shooting combination of GA Kiera Austin and GS Brooke Fennings showing early signs of being a force to be reckoned with. Between Fennings holding game and Austin’s movement, NSW were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

However it was defensively that NSW really worked hard, limiting NT to just two goals in the opening 10 minutes.  GK Cassandra Radford and GD Kirra Jones worked the circle in tandem, ably assisted by C Kristen Kessler and WD Amy Parmenter out front, with Parmenter in particular having a captain’s game by also helping bring the ball down the court.

The momentum of the opening minutes couldn’t be matched in the second quarter as mistakes began to creep into both side’s games.  As NT began to settle into the game the Blues had to work hard with Parmenter once again steadying the ship.

With NSW’s shooters having their eye in they were able to extend their lead to 14 at half-time, 21-7.

Head Coach Moira Gaha made a raft of changes to NSW for the second half, leaving all but her two wings from the starting seven.  Despite the changes NSW didn’t miss a beat scoring eight unanswered goals to further extend their lead.

With fresh legs through the midcourt, NSW picked up the pace with new shooting duo GS Prudence Ellis and GA Loren Singleton putting up 16 goals for the quarter to push out their scoreboard advantage to 25 goals at the final break, 37-12.

Cheered on by a vocal bench and support group, NSW put on a supreme defensive effort for the final 10 minutes to limit NT to just three goals for the quarter, setting up a 32 goal victory to open their Nationals campaign.

NSW will take the court again today at 3pm AEST where they will meet Western Australia in Round 2.  Stay tuned to Netball NSW social media channels for live score updates throughout the match;
Instagram @netballnsw – using the hashtags #17UNetball #GoNSW

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW│ Q1: 13 – Q2: 21 (8) – Q3: 37 (16) – Q4: 47 (10)
NT│ Q1: 2 – Q2: 7 (5) – Q3: 12 (5) – Q4: 15 (3)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 47/62 @ 76%
Brooke Fennings: 13/13/ @ 100%
Kiera Austin: 8/10 @ 80%
Prudence Ellis: 19/29 @ 66%
Loren Singleton: 7/10 @ 70%

NT: 15/24 @ 63%
Georgia Clark: 8/11 @ 73%
Gabrielle Borchers: 0/3 @ 0%
Courtney Murphy: 7/10 @ 70%

Starting Line-ups
NSW│ GS Brooke Fennings, GA Kiera Austin, WA Claire O’Brien, C Kristen Kessler, WD Amy Parmenter (c), GD Kirra Jones, GK Cassandra Radford

NT│ GS Georgia Clark, GA Gabrielle Borchers, WA Bronte Pearson, C Billie Newton, WD Lisa Roscarel, GD Bethany Fry (c), GK Isabella MacDonald

Positional Changes
NSW│ Q3 – GS Prudence Ellis, GA Loren Singleton, C Chelsea Bolton, GD Lauren Moore, GK Leanne Grevenitz; Q3 Timeout – WD Radford; Q4 – WA Kessler.

NT│ Q2 – GA Courtney Murphy, C Roscarel, WD Newton; Q4 – GS Rorchers, WD Roscarel, C Tabatha Saville.