The Netball NSW Marie Little OAM Shield Team have finished second at the 2014 Marie Little OAM Shield following a narrow 9-8 loss to defending Champions Victoria in the Final at the Waverley Netball Centre in Victoria today (Sunday 17 August).
At the premier netball event for players with an intellectual disability, the NSW side competed against the Victorian All Abilities Team and South Australia.
The three teams played each other twice in a round-robin style competition before the top two teams at the end of the six matches played the Final to determine which team would hold the Shield, but the NSW team was unable to overcome the defending Champions on their home soil.
After being down by as many as four goals early in the first half of the decider, NSW fought back to trail by just one goal at halftime, 5-4. It was goal-for-goal in the second half and when Victoria scored to go ahead by one in the dying seconds, NSW was unable to add another goal; Victoria winners 9-8.
NSW Head Coach Jenny O’Keeffe was very proud of her team who rebounded from a loss in the first round to challenge Victoria in the Final.
“We were absolutely thrilled with our players. We lost our first game this morning which was a little disappointing but it was just our first game, then after that they started playing the way we were really hoping they might,” O’Keeffe said.
“Everyone played beautifully, the players are pleased with themselves and they should be.”
Despite losing their opening match to Victoria, the NSW team rallied to win their next three matches, 13-5 over South Australia, 19-6 over Victoria and 14-12 over South Australia once again to win their spot in the Final.
After finishing the 2013 tournament without a win, it was a great reward for the NSW team to walk away with three victories.
2014 Marie Little OAM Shield Fixture:
Match 1: SA 11 def by VIC 14
Match 2: NSW 5 def by VIC 13
Match 3: NSW 13 def SA 5
Match 4: SA 12 def by VIC 19
Match 5: NSW 19 def VIC 6
Match 6: NSW 14 def SA 12
FINAL: VIC 9 def NSW 8