The 17/U and 19/U National Championships are underway at Netball Central in Sydney. Here are the match reports of the Finals action in both age groups including the Grand Finals.
17/U Match Reports
GRAND FINAL: Queensland 27 defeated New South Wales 24
By Maddison Reynolds and Claire Macuz
The U/17’s competition has come to a head with Queensland defeating New South Wales 27-24.
In true State of Origin fashion, the team’s first encounter on Day 3 was a nail-biter with the final whistle revealing a 28-28 draw.
As the teams took the court it was apparent the Grand Final would be no less. Both teams had something to prove.
For Queensland it was their strength as a state. No Queensland side had won the U/17’s competition since 2001 and this victory was only the second since the competitions inauguration in 1983.
The Queensland team had proved their quality in the qualifying matches, heading the competition table without defeat.
NSW’s burden was of a different kind. The home team had amounted a following of supporters throughout the week who were determined to see the U/17’s title reclaimed from the Victorian’s and back on NSW soil.
The NSW side entered the match at second place on the ladder, two points behind Queensland. Intensity was high as the players took the court with both teams showing signs of uncertainty.
The nerves quickly increased for NSW as the agile Maddison Hinchcliffe, Kimberley Jenner and Alexia Baker interrupted their plans and intercepted the NSW first centre.
Queensland continued to dominate the NSW side throughout the first quarter, undermining NSW’s zone defence with speed and phenomenal execution.
It wasn’t until the second quarter that NSW began to respond. The growing momentum behind the NSW defensive duo of Lauren Moore and Teigan O’Shannassy brought the NSW crowd to their feet as the two worked relentlessly to turn Queensland attempts into turnovers.
The two focused their energies on the incredibly accurate Rylie Holland but mistakenly underestimated the leadership and skill of Queensland goal shooter, Binnian Hunt.
Hunt quickly took the premier position whilst Holland, and later Alexia Baker, played the defence. This tactical coaching strategy was essential in securing Queensland’s dominance throughout the match.
Entering the second half of the match, Queensland had a steady hold of NSW, leading 16-10.
NSW goal attack Laura Towell showed resistance and found her feet amidst this Queensland control. Towell’s court presence was evident as she delivered exceptional goals for her team and spurred on the NSW supporters.
The NSW mid-court of Kristen Kessler, Tayla Fraser and Demi Evans similarly kept working calmly and persistently. There was no chance of the Queensland side conceding victory however.
Constant and mature throughout the match, the Queensland defensive team of Kimberley Jenner and Tara Hinchcliffe were unable to be matched.
Their precise cohesion and steadiness was reflective of the Queensland team as a whole and despite NSW’s best efforts there was no way the side could be beaten.
At the final whistle Queensland had ended their 14 year drought with a score of 27-24.
“It feels amazing to win, and I credit it to this group of girls for working so hard”, said Queensland coach Amanda Vanderwall.
“This group of girls worked so well together, and that showed on the court today.”
Queensland (27) defeated New South Wales (24)
Queensland shooting stats
Binnian Hunt 10/13 (77%)
Rylie Holland 7/8 (88%)
Alexia Baker 4/5 (80%)
NSW shooting stats
Veronika Jukic 11/19 (58%)
Laura Towell 9/10 (90%)
Tamara Black 4/4 (100%)
Victoria 33 defeated South Australia 29
By Maddison Reynolds
Victoria have ended their National Championships series with a 33-29 win over South Australia.
The two teams first meeting on Day 3 saw the Victorian side beat the SA team with a convincing score of 31-17.
SA were determined not to let the Victorian’s get the better of them a second time, entering the match at a steady and controlled pace to ensure possession.
Sasha Glasgow showed maturity and leadership in her control of the SA attacking end, encouraging her side whilst performing with agility and precision.
Sophie Croft and Emily O’Connell fed from this, persisting in their defence on the dominant Victorian goal-shooter, Danielle Phillips.
Despite their efforts, it was the height and strength of Phillips that proved indestructible.
Accompanied by her support in Bridget O’Halloran, Kate Kelly-Oman and Laura Cayzer, the Victorian attacking side were incredibly well executed and equally supported by their defensive end.
Playing a well practiced zone, Brooke Allan and Matilda Garrett utilised a sweeping defence to pick off impressive intercepts.
The Victorian side strategically executed their strong and controlled game play securing the third place position in the 17/U competition.
Victoria (33) defeated South Australia (29)
SA Shooting Stats:
Mary Wilson 1/4 (25%)
Sasha Glasgow 20/24 (84%)
Tarnie Shinnick 8/12 (67%)
Victoria Shooting Stats:
Danielle Phillips 20/22 (91%)
Bridget O’Halloran 13/17 (77%)
Western Australia 27 defeated Tasmania 23
By Rachel Kitching
Western Australia’s solid effort on the court has given them the upper hand to defeat Tasmania in today’s classification final and claim fifth spot on the Championship ladder.
Impressive pressure around the ball and a strong defensive unit ultimately gave WA the advantage to win by four goals.
In the opening quarter both teams presented a strong defence to ensure the score remained at a tie the majority of the term, however WA managed to score a great goal in the last seconds to secure a one-goal lead.
The second quarter was a faster pace, Tasmania’s goal defence Alexandra Vinen’s strength in rebounding the ball allowed for an upper hand in gaining possession.
Fantastic ball work from WA ensured a great opportunity to break away from Tasmania in the second quarter.
WA goal attack Morgan Miller showed endurance and strength under the ring during the term to give WA a two-goal advantage.
Pressure from WA’s defence in the goal circle proved detrimental to Tasmania with a number of unsuccessful goal attempts.
Both WA and Tasmania played defensive throughout the term, but it was WA who came out on top with a 15-11 lead at half-time.
Tasmania responded in the third term with impressive long passes between goal shooter Hollie Moore and wing attack Elise Barwick.
WA changed their goal shooter to Rose Aryang who secured two more goals for her team. WA took a four goal lead into the final term.
It was an intense final quarter with and with only four minutes remaining on the clock Tasmania fired up putting pressure on WA.
Although Tasmania’s goal keeper Emma Johns was impressive in defence, nothing could stop WA from using strong passes in the goal circle to secure a win by four goals.
Western Australia (27) defeated Tasmania (23)
WA shooting stats:
Rose Aryang 2/4 (50%)
Amber Clemesha 8/9 (89%)
Morgan Millar 17/24 (71%)
Tasmania shooting stats:
Hollie Moore 7/11 (64%)
Natasha Shirley 8/15 (54%)
Renee Terry 8/12 (67%)
ACT 33 defeated Northern Territory 18
By Claire Macuz
ACT have triumphed over a young Northern Territory side 33-18 in a well-executed Classification final, to finish seventh on the Championship ladder.
On the back of excellent execution of passes and a powerhouse mid-court, ACT dominated after quarter time, playing a cleaner and faster match to secure the win.
ACT’s wing attack Jamie Clayden played a dominant match, driving hard to the top of the goal circle and delivering the ball to her goalers on 15 occasions for the match.
Controlling the corridor, ACT’s centre Zoe Haseler hassled and lead her side to victory, on the back of precision passing and supreme driving, having six assists for the match.
The third term truly was the premiership quarter for the ACT, scoring 11 goals in total to take their lead to 12 goals heading into the final quarter.
ACT goal shooter Jacoba Clough scored an incredible 19 goals from 24 attempts, shooting at 71 per cent for the first three quarters of the match.
Nalanie Makunde replaced Clough in goal shooter in the last quarter and was an immediate presence on the court, holding strong and scoring six from six.
At the main break, goal keeper Millie Boehm came on to replace Katie Halse and controlled the movement of direct opponent Franjesca Cercarelli, having five deflections and two intercepts for the half.
Cercarelli played a strong match in her side’s loss, moving with poise and composure, scoring a clean eight goals from 13 attempts.
ACT dictated the way the match would be played out, through body-on-body pressure and providing strong leads, determining their final position at seventh on the ladder
ACT (33) defeated Northern Territory (18)
ACT shooting stats:
Madison Robinson 3/7 (43%)
Jacoba Clough 19/24 (80%)
Alexandra Sengelman 5/8 (63%)
Nalani Makunde 6/7 (86%)
NT shooting stats:
Courtney Murphy 10/17 (59%)
Frajesca Cercarelli 8/14 (58%)
19/U Match Reports
By Claire Macuz and Rachel Kitching
In a thrilling Grand Final match that demanded intensity until the final whistle of extra time, New South Wales have gallantly defeated a resilient Victorian side 43-39.
The first quarter forced pace and subsequently turnovers for each side, demanding pin-point passing and strong leads to deliver the ball to both sets of shooters.
NSW Coach Briony Akle noted that she was impressed with her team’s effort.
“I’m so proud of my girls to place first when they finished fifth last year,” Akle said.
NSW goal defence and Toni Anderson applied exuberant pressure to her opponents Zanna Woods and Samantha Gooden, restricting the flow and ease of the delivery into VIC goal shooter Emma Ryde-Coad.
With two intercepts and numerous pressure acts allowing her surrounding teammates to pick up loose balls, Anderson was awarded the San Remo Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Ryde-Coad scored an unbelievable 33 goals from 36 attempts. Standing at a 197cm tall, Ryde-Coad held brilliantly and provided a sure set of hands for her side.
NSW quickly realised she was the ‘go-to’ goaler in the ring, doubling up to increase their chances of an interception or deflection.
VIC co-captains Elizabeth Birch and Casey Adamson controlled the momentum of the game to level the scores 15-all, with Birch delivering the ball to their goalers six times in the first half.
VIC’s defensive combination Julia Smith and Jacqueline Newton applied constant physical pressure to their opponents each time the ball came into NSW’s attack, taking five intercepts in the first half.
The extraordinary physicality of the match was evident from the starting whistle with Birch and NSW centre Elyssa Pierce clashing bodies numerous times.
NSW played a strong first half, with their goal attack and captain Kiera Austin shooting at 88 per cent with 11 goals going into the main break.
Austin credited her team’s performance to their intense training, and thanked Netball Australia for giving the players this opportunity.
“We trained so hard for three months, and we couldn’t have done it without our supporters… All of the teams put in such a great effort this past week,” Austin said.
The last quarter was in a league of its own, with pressure acts, loose balls, turnovers and the physicality again demanding an increase in intensity and skill acquisition.
“I knew it would be a physical contest. It was just who could tough it out,” Akle said.
NSW led by two goals with under three minutes to go when the scoreboard clock reset, causing the crowd to increase in volume, not knowing how many minutes were left until the final whistle of official game time.
Ryde leveled for VIC with just seconds remaining taking the score to 34-all, and her individual score to 10 goals from 10 attempts in the last quarter, to take the match into extra time.
With the crowd edging them on, NSW were the stronger team at the end of extra time, simultaneously screaming with joy when the final whistle was blown to triumphantly win the 19/U Australian Netball Nationals Championships over Victoria 43-39.
New South Wales (43) defeated Victoria (39)
NSW shooting stats:
Kiera Austin 28/34 (83%)
Emily Moore 10/11 (91%)
Cristina Linaker 5/5 (100%)
Victoria shooting stats:
Emma Ryde 33/35 (95%)
Zanna Woods 5/5 (100%)
Samantha Gooden 1/1 (100%)
South Australia 43 defeated Western Australia 25
By Claire Macuz
A composed start by South Australia against cross-country rivals Western Australia has contributed to a 43-25 win, to finish third on the Championship ladder.
Strength was the theme of the first half, with WA’s wing defense Phoebe Wilcox showing persistence and diving hard in at every loose ball.
Scores were all level at the first break, with both teams shooting incredibly accurately with eight goals a piece.
Clean deliveries into the goalers was the fortè of the SA side throughout the match, with centre Hannah Petty dominating the central corridor, delivering the ball to her goalers on eight different occasions in the second half alone.
The physicality of the match was unforgettable, and notably began to frustrate some of the players on both sides. Wilcox was swapped into centre in the last quarter to attempt to shut down Petty, proving to be an asset for her side.
Dynamic duo Kelsey Williams and Charlee Hodges worked smoothly together throughout the match, with Hodges shooting a striking six goals in the final quarter, and 18 for the match.
SA goal attack Hodges also proved her exceptional capability as a moving goaler and showed off her sure set of hands, leaping for multiple high balls passed in her direction.
No one athlete in the SA side was an absolute standout, however with each player succeeding at winning each contest against their direct opponent SA created a smooth working system from defense right through to their attack.
With the SA line-up rotating around, it was a valiant effort to come out on top of WA and win by 18 goals to cement their position in third on the final Championship ladder.
South Australia (43) defeated Western Australia (25)
WA shooting stats
Sophie Garbin 14/15 (94%)
Kimberley Shepherd 3/4 (75%)
Annika Lee-Jones 8/12 (67%)
SA shooting stats
Asha Thurlow 4/4 (100%)
Charlee Hodges 18/20 (90%)
Kelsey Williams 21/26 (81%)
Tasmania 29 defeated Queensland 27
By Felicity Ryan
You wouldn’t have know that today’s game was between 2014’s sixth-placed finisher Tasmania and title winner Queensland, Tasmania defeating Queensland in a close encounter to win 29-27.
It was all Queensland in the first quarter, with constant pressure over passes and speed off the mark from wing attack Ally McLeod.
Quick and sneaky passes between Queensland’s goal attack and goal shooter Emma Cook and Abigail Latu Meafou saw them close under the goal for shots, keeping Tasmania’s defensive side on their toes and giving Queensland a four-goal advantage at quarter time.
Tasmania’s goal keeper Sarah Szcykulski came out all engines blazing in the second quarter, with an intensity she maintained for the rest of the match. She stayed in the circle, coming around her player to deflect the ball to her teammates, and also leaping high to get pivotal tips and rebounds to give Tasmania possession.
At the other end of the court, the accuracy of Tasmania’s goal shooter Natalie Eldirdge and her confidence to shoot from anywhere in the circle gave her seven goals from seven attempts in the second quarter, allowing Tasmania to overtake Queensland and lead by one at half-time.
Tasmania extended this lead to four in the third quarter, with centre Shelby Miller, providing a backbone around both shooting circles and through the midcourt.
However, Queensland’s goal attack Georgie Briggs’ positioning in the circle and brilliant defence by goal defence, Bryah Gafa brought Queensland back within one at three-quarter time.
Defensive efforts by Szcykulski and wing defence Dana Lester injected fire and energy into their team and supporters for the final quarter.
Deanna Wadley in goal attack demonstrated formidable movement and shooting accuracy, only missing one goal in all four quarters.
Despite Queensland refusing to give up, Tasmania powered home with a well-deserved two-goal victory and a fifth place on the Championship ladder.
Tasmania (29) defeated Queensland (27)
Tasmania shooting stats
Natalie Eldridge 15/20 (75%)
Deanna Wadley 14/15 (94%)
Queensland shooting stats
Emma Cook 7/8 (88%)
Abigail Latu-Meafou 11/17 (65%)
Georgie Briggs 9/13 (70%)
ACT 37 defeated Northern Territory 34
By Felicity Ryan
They last met on day two when ACT came out on top 37-31 and today, with a very similar scoreline, ACT have done it again, leading Northern Territory 37-34 at the end of a hard-fought match.
Initially, ACT’s goal defence made it difficult for NT to get clean passes into the circle, having to frequently pass out to their centre and wing attack.
ACT led by a narrow two for the majority of the first half. However the pace and energy of NT’s centre Gemma Henderson helped turn that around, as she sped towards every loose ball, and stayed one step ahead of her player in attack. It was her intercept minutes before half-time that inspired the team to bring the score even at half-time, 20-all.
ACT’s speed and fluid movement up the court baffled NT in the third quarter, to see ACT up by six goals at three-quarter time.
While NT’s wing defence Bethany Fry put her body on the line and goal keeper Prudence Ellis took some beautiful intercepts, it was ACT’s wing defence Maddie Dwyer and centre Breanna Toze who held together their mid court in both attack and defence, helping to convert turnovers into goals for their side.
However NT did not give up, with phenomenal positioning by goal shooter Lauren Yager ensuring shots under the post, and a pivotal intercept by Fry keeping them in the game.
NT came back to within one goal in the fourth quarter after a powerful deflection from goal attack Rebecca Winch.
An exciting finish saw the ball travel up and down the court without a goal as both teams produced intercept after intercept.
However it was ACT’s speed and determination that helped them with the win and finish seventh on the Championship ladder.
ACT (37) defeated Northern Territory (34)
ACT shooting stats
Alison Miller 30/37 (82%)
Sophie Immonen 5/8 (63%)
Brittney Reynolds 2/5 (40%)
NT shooting stats
Lauren Yager 24/28 (86%)
Rebecca Winch 10/17 (59%)