NSW valiant in 21U loss to old rivals VIC

Victoria has claimed a 14 goal victory over NSW 21/U team in their Round Six match of the 21/U National Netball Championships.  NSW pushed their traditional rivals to the very end in a hard fought match, but were unable to chase down the VICs lead.

It was a physical tussle from the first whistle, with both teams trying to gain the upper hand.  NSW were able to take some fantastic intercepts, but strong defensive pressure from VIC forced the turnovers to regain possession.

After settling into the match the teams went goal for goal, before VIC were able to take a slim two goal lead at the first break, 9-7.

At the start of the second quarter NSW broke VIC centre pass through a run-down intercept from vice captain Sophie Halpin at WD.  However the Victorians regrouped and continued to put strong arms over every NSW ball to put pressure on the pass.

NSW countered the defensive pressure by working the ball patiently into their attacking third, using the support of defenders Halpin at WD and Kristiana Manu’a at GD.  But VIC continued their tenacious defence to extend their lead to seven goals at half time, 18-11.

Both head coaches made two changes for the start of the second half; Donnay van Taak and Gemma Ferrington came onto C and WD respectively for NSW, while for VIC Elizabeth Watson and Clare Moylan swapped to C and WA.

VIC continued their momentum from the first half, scoring the first three goals to further extend their lead.  NSW gathered to try to limit the speed of the ball moving through the midcourt to limit the influence of the VIC shooters.

However VIC were on a roll and again extended their lead into the final break, 32-18.

NSW had a wrath of changes for the final quarter; Emilee Lang onto WA, Emma Turner to GS, Katie Maguire to WD and Kaitlyn Bryce to C.

After NSW opened the score, it took VIC five minutes to slot a reply.  A vocal NSW bench got louder as the minutes ticked down, willing their players to leave everything on-court.  In the end VIC were able to withstand the pressure of NSW, claiming victory in a low scoring match, 39-25.

After a hard fought match, Assistant Coach Di Brown says the team will look closely at what worked for them tonight.

“It is always a tough match against the Victorians and tonight was no different … the players we injected for the fourth quarter really hit the court hard and changed things up,” Brown said.

“In our debrief of tonight’s match we will look at what worked and moving forward, will look to stick to the game plan in tomorrow’s match against Queensland.”

NSW will be back on court at ACT Netball Association tomorrow (Friday 15 March) at 1.00pm to take on Queensland in the final round of the Nationals competition, before the Finals Series is played over the weekend.

Northern Territory has withdrawn from the 21/U Nationals tournament due to injuries.

Stay tuned to facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW for quarter-by-quarter scores and photos, or join in the conversation at twitter.com/Netball_NSW or instagram.com/netballnsw.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW Q1: 7 – Q2: 11 (4) – Q3: 18 (7) – Q4: 25 (7)
VIC Q1: 9 – Q2: 18 (9) – Q3: 32 (14) – Q4: 39 (7)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 25/36 @ 69%
Kristina Brice: 10/13 @ 77%
Alix McDermott: 13/17 @ 73%
Emma Turner: 2/6 @ 33%

VIC: 39/57 @ 68%
Kate Thompson: 24/32 @ 75%
Sarah Main: 2/3 @ 67%
Darcy Saunders: 13/22 @ 59%

Teams Starting Positions
GS Kristina Brice
GA Alix McDermott (c)
WA Taylah Davies
C Kaitlyn Bryce
WD Sophie Halpin (vc)
GD Kristiana Manu’a
GK Karli Ireland

GS Kate Thompson
GA Sarah Main
WA Elizabeth Watson
C Clare Moylan
WD Demi Woodlock
GD Jo Weston
GK Micaela Wilson