NSW to fight for third place after Semi Final loss

Victoria has held off a resurgent NSW 17/U Team to win the Semi Final, 37-19, to secure a spot in the 17/U National Netball Championships Grand Final tomorrow afternoon.  NSW will fight it out with South Australia in the Preliminary Final with the aim of finishing in third place.

It was NSW who opened against the tall VIC team, with vice-captain Lauren Yager finding the post with a long-shot.  The fast-moving VIC found a quick reply, and was able to string a few goals together to open up a healthy lead early on.

NSW found it difficult to break through a strong defensive zone set up by VIC, and had to resort to some long passes down the court to feed possession to their shooters.  This tactic opened up for the VIC defenders to come hunting for the intercept, and once successful they moved quickly down the court to prevent NSW setting up their defence.

Once in their attacking third, NSW patiently swung the ball around the circle trying to find a gap in the VIC armour.  GA Yager was denied by the buzzer to close the gap on the scoreboard, with VIC heading into half-time six goals ahead, 18-12.

NSW started the second half like the first, opening the score with a lovely double play from WA Braeden Quince and GS Georgia Marshall.  NSW were able to keep goal-for-goal with VIC, as the two teams pushed each other.

After an injury timeout, NSW lost all their momentum with VIC putting the foot down and scoring the last five consecutive goals to open up their lead.  A huge defensive quarter saw VIC outscore NSW 10 goals to one, to claim an 18 goal victory and a chance at the 2013 17/U title.

Head Coach Lenore Blades says the final score doesn’t reflect the tough and tight Semi Final that was played.

“It’s disappointing that we were able to stay with them for three quarters, even getting within two goals at one stage, but they were able to really run away with it in the final quarter,” Blades said.

“We made some silly mistakes in some crucial moments, but I’m not taking anything away from our players.  Some of our younger players experiencing Nationals Finals for the first time really rose to the challenge.  VIC are definitely the best 17/U team here and we really took it to them for most the game, so the girls should be proud of themselves.”

17/U captain Georgia Marshall echoed her coach’s sentiments.

“I’m really proud of the bunch of girls we have playing at Nationals.  We gave it our all against VIC and they’re a really great team, so even though it’s disappointing to miss out on the Grand Final, we will do our best to claim third place in tomorrow’s prelim,” said Marshall.

NSW 17/U is back tomorrow, Saturday 13 April, when they take on SA to play-off for third in the Preliminary Final at 11.30am (local time), while VIC meet Western Australia in the Grand Final at 12.45pm. Stay tuned to facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW for quarter score updates and photos.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW Q1: 5 – Q2: 12 (7) – Q3: 18 (6) – Q4: 19 (1)
VIC Q1: 11 – Q2: 18 (7) – Q3: 27 (9) – Q4: 37 (10)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 19/28 @ 68%
Georgia Marshall: 11/17 @ 65%
Lauren Yager: 8/10 @ 80%
Cristy Linaker: 0/1 @ 0%

VIC: 37/48 @ 77%
Emma Ryde-Coad: 22/28 @ 79%
Alice Teague-Neeld: 15/20 @ 75%

Teams Starting Positions
NSW: GS Georgia Marshall (c), GA Lauren Yager (vc), WA Braeden Quince, C Elyssa Pierce, WD Natasha Strachan, GD Toni Anderson, GK Ashley Valeni
VIC: GS Emma Ryde-Coad, GA Alice Teague-Neeld (c), WA Elizabeth Birch (c), C Emily Browne, WD Casey Adamson, GD Victoria Honner, GK Stephanie Boyce

NSW Position Changes
Q3: Madeleine McCathie WD; Q3 Timeout: Jade Riley C; Q4: Pierce C, Valeni GD, Anderson GK; Q4 Timeout: Cristy Linaker GS, Marshall GA