Two wins for NSW in opening round

The NSW 19/U Team have joined their 17/U counterparts by posting a commanding Round 1 victory over Australian Capital Territory, 46-21, at the 2014 National Netball Championships in Melbourne.

In what was at times a scrappy affair, it was NSW who were able to settle to finish victors.  Despite the topsy turvy nature of the game, NSW 19/U Head Coach Briony Akle said she was very happy with her team’s performance.

“First win out of the way and it was really great to get everyone out on court.  We’ve got a lot of ‘newbies’ that haven’t played for NSW before so for them to get out there for their first Waratah appearance and play really well. It’s a great score and great outcome,” Akle said.

“I expected it to be a little bit scrappy today being the first game of the week but we will be looking to build and be a bit more consistent towards the end of the week.  But I can’t fault our start – we came out really well which was pleasing and we’ve come away with the points which is great.”

NSW started the match well, putting up five goals before ACT could answer.  With experienced Nationals campaigner GA Lauren Yager partnering debutant Alisha Cairns at GS, NSW worked the ball patiently into the circle to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Down the other end GK Billie Gurr was vocal with instructions to her defensive teammates, working with partner Toni Anderson in GD to limit any free space in ACT’s circle.  Ably assisted by the midcourters, NSW put on a superb defensive effort to limit their opposition’s scoring opportunities, taking an 11-4 lead into the first break.

NSW begun the second much like the first, opening the quarter with consecutive goals.  Orange product Charlotte Jasprizza proved damaging in attack with her speed leaving her opponent a step behind.  Jasprizza easily found the circle edge and with patient timing, fed beautifully into the circle.

NSW suffered a slight disruption when Cairns left the caught during a timeout, but her replacement Olivia Doyle didn’t miss a beat helping to extend NSW’s lead at half-time, 19-8.

Akle brought on plenty of fresh legs for the second half, changing all but her circle defenders as she looked to expose all her athletes to Nationals netball.  The changes did little to disrupt NSW’s momentum as once again they opened the scoring with consecutive goals.

Though ACT weren’t happy to settle and began quietly mounting a fight back against NSW late in the quarter.  Treasuring possession and patiently working the ball into the circle to limit the influence of Gurr and Anderson, ACT began chipping away at the scoreboard deficit.  However time was on NSW’s side as they took a 16 goal lead into the final break, 30-14.

Akle made further changes to her side for the final 10 minutes, including moving Gurr into GD.  The change saw Gurr play a crucial role in bringing the ball safely down the court, with shooting combo Natalie Eldridge and Doyle having their eye in to help NSW onto a 25 goal victory.

NSW will take the court again today at 6:30pm AEST where they will meet South Australia in Round 2.  Stay tuned to Netball NSW social media channels for live score updates throughout the match;
Instagram @netballnsw – using the hashtags #19UNetball #GoNSW

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 19 (8) – Q3: 30 (11) – Q4: 46 (16)
ACT│ Q1: 4 – Q2: 8 (4) – Q3: 14 (6) – Q4: 21 (7)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 46/51 @ 90%
Alisha Cairns: 8/8 @ 100%
Lauren Yager: 8/9 @ 89%
Olivia Doyle: 23/27 @ 85%
Natalie Eldridge: 7/7 @ 100%

ACT: 21/33 @ 64%
Victoria Schamahl: 3/5 @ 60%
Molly Dickson: 5/13 @ 38%
Sophie Immonen: 11/13 @ 85%
Madison Bauer: 2/2 @ 100%

Starting Line-ups
NSW│ GS Alisha Cairns, GA Lauren Yager, WA Charlotte Jasprizza, C Madeline Woods, WD Zoe Gilbert, GD Toni Anderson, GK Billie Gurr

ACT│ GS Victoria Schmahl, GS Molly Dickson, WA Breeana Toze, C Joanna Collis, WD Maddie Dwyer, GD Shahana Plenty, GK Hayley Bowyer

Positional Changes
NSW│ Q2 Timeout – GS Olivia Doyle; Q3 – GS Natalie Eldridge, GA Doyle, WA Courtney Richmond, C Tanisha Stanton (c), WD Sarah Kitcher; Q4 – GS Doyle, GA Eldridge, WD Woods, GD Gurr, GK Kitcher.