Southern Force charge to top of ANL ladder

_MCA3359LiThe Australian Netball League season came to an end for some teams in the latest weekend of action while others are eyeing off a finals appearance. Here’s a wrap of what happened in Week 4 by AIMEE DAWSON

The battle for a spot in the Australian Netball League finals intensified in the latest round with some teams making the most of their final games of the 2015 season.

Southern Force has taken top spot after winning both matches in Hobart, including toppling fellow contender Western Sting 49-42 in a see-sawing match.

Despite a five-goal lead to Sting at the end of the first quarter, it would be Force who would find the momentum and take the one goal margin into the half-time break.

They then took control of the match in the fourth quarter to score a crucial win that sealed its return to finals after missing last season. It was an impressive win by Force, who had as many as 10 players backing up from a State League Grand Final last Thursday night.

Force’s 73-22 victory over Storm on Sunday helped elevate them over reigning champions Victorian Fury into top spot ahead of this weekend’s round of matches in Adelaide._MCA1008Li

Netball NSW Waratahs have snuck into fourth spot on the ladder with one round left to play before the finals after beating Canberra Darters at Netball Central in Sydney.

Despite Darters briefly gaining the lead in the opening term, Waratahs would push through to be 12-goal victors 60-48.

For Waratahs to keep their position in the top four and advance to the finals, they need QLD Fusion to lose their final two games of the season this weekend.

Fury continued on their winning way with a 58-31 victory over Tassie Spirit in their only match of the round in Hobart. Fury’s winning streak is now 28 matches.

Sting were able to bounce back from that defeat to claim a 59-42 win over Spirit in their final game of the regular season.

Spirit were able to keep with the Sting for three-quarters, however fatigued in fourth as the margin blew out from five goals at three-quarter time to 17 goals at the end of the match.

_MCA2739LiAshton Whiley (Spirit) and Jessica Anstiss (Sting) battled it out in the midcourt, proving a thrilling battle, however the Sting were able to find a clear path into the circle with shooter Kaylia Stanton scoring 47 goals from 57 attempts.

Spirit, looking to impress in front of their home crowd, claimed a 14-goal win over the Territory Storm on Saturday night.

Storm gained an early advantage thanks to midcourters Gemma Henderson, Rebecca Winch and Tahlia Lee. However Spirit took the lead late in the first quarter to lead 14–13 at quarter-time which they increased at every break to win 56–42 with shooter Sophie Gunn on target scoring 44 goals at 88 per cent accuracy.

The final round of the season will be played at Netball SA Stadium in Adelaide next weekend.

Week Four Results:

Victorian Fury (58) defeated Tassie Spirit (31)
Fury shooting statistics
Emma Ryde 33/40 (83%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 16/26 (62%)
Stephanie Puopolo 9/12 (75%)

Spirit shooting statistics
Sophie Gunn 18/26 (70%)
Samantha Gooden 11/13 (85%)
Estelle Margetts 2/6 (34%)

Netball NSW Waratahs (60) defeated Canberra Darters (48)
Waratahs shooting statistics
Kimberly Borger 34/40 (85%)
Stephanie Wood 25/33 (76%)
Amy Sommerville 1/2 (50%)

Darters shooting statistics
Simone Nalder 25/32 (78%)
Vanessa Mullampy 23/26 (88%)

Tassie Spirit (56) defeated Territory Storm (42)_MCA2981Li
Spirit shooting statistics
Sophie Gunn 44/50 (88%)
Samantha Gooden 9/12 (75%)
Estelle Margetts 2/4 (50%)
Maggie Lind 1/3 (34%)

Storm shooting statistics
Deni Taulelei 29/33 (88%)
Joanne Morgan 10/16 (63%)
Rebecca Winch 3/3 (100%)

Southern Force (49) defeated Western Sting (42)
Force shooting statistics
Chelsea Lemke 26/32 (82%)
Cody Lange 23/35 (66%)

Sting shooting statistics
Kaylia Stanton 26/33 (79%)
Lisa Millman 16/22 (73%)

Western Sting (59) defeated Tassie Spirit (42)
Sting shooting statistics
Kaylia Stanton 47/53 (83%)
Lisa Millman 12/14 (86%)

Spirit shooting statistics
Sophie Gunn 25/27 (93%)
Samantha Gooden 17/19 (90%)

Southern Force (73) defeated Territory Storm (22)
Force shooting statistics
Charlee Hodges 20/24 (83%)
Cody Lange 19/23 (83%)
Chelsea Lemke 17/18 (94%)
Laura Packard 17/19 (89%)

Storm shooting statistics
Michelle Winch 9/10 (90%)
Deni Taulelei 9/13 (69%)
Rebecca Winch 4/7 (57%)