The Victorian Fury has taken out the 2015 Australian Netball League title after beating the Southern Force in today’s Grand Final. Read the match report AIMEE DAWSON
Victorian Fury has completed its third consecutive unbeaten season and claimed their sixth ANL title after toppling Southern Force 58-46 in the Grand Final at the Waverley Netball Centre in Melbourne.
The 12-goal victory extends Fury’s remarkable winning streak to 32 matches heading into the 2016 season.
Force went into the match without key defender Kate Shimmin, who injured her knee in Saturday night’s semi-final triumph against Western Sting.
The shooters for both teams showed no signs of nerves early on with Force pair Cody Lange and Chelsea Lemke and Emma Ryde (Fury) all shooting at 100 per cent for the first quarter.
Force had the chance early to capitalise on a two-goal lead, however the Fury were able to bring the margin back and take a two-goal lead into quarter time.
When the half-time whistle blew, Fury had flown out to a nine-goal lead 31-22. Fury centre Kelsey Browne was unstoppable in the midcourt in the first half, dominating in both attack and defence.
But the third-quarter saw the match turn on its head with Force going on a seven-goal run to slash the deficit to just one goal mid-way through the term.
Emily Burgess, Maddy Turner and captain Sheree Wingard all produced impressive intercepts.
With the Force on a roll and the Fury looking rattled, an intercept from Browne and Alice Teague-Neeld gave the Fury the opportunity they needed late in the quarter to give themselves some breathing space heading into the final term.
The introduction of Elle Bennetts into centre gave the Fury the final edge they needed to run out the game. While the final margin blew out in the finish, the final scoreline did not reflect the intensity the match was played for over the 60 minutes.
The shining light for Force in the final quarter was goal shooter Georgie Virgo, who came off the bench and finished with 10 goals for the term. A knee injury to Wingard late in the match forced her to watch the final few minutes from the sidelines.
Ryde finished the match with 44 goals at 88 per cent accuracy, giving her 301 for the season at an average of just under 38 a match. She finished the season only second behind Western Sting shooter Kaylia Stanton (340 goals).
Fury captain Fiona Themann was delighted to accept the trophy after the match and put the exclamation point on another dominant season.
Fury shooting Statistics
Emma Ryde 44/50 (88%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 14/19 (74%)
Force shooting statistics
Chelsea Lemke 21/24 (88%)
Cody Lange 15/22 (68%)
Georgie Virgo 10/14 (71%)