2015 21/U National Championships Finals wrap

Today is Grand Final day at the 2015 21/U National Netball Championships on the naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast, official destination partner for the event.

Here’s the match reports from all today’s action.

Northern Territory 40 defeated Tasmania 27

_MCA5087LiThe Northern Territory has claimed its first victory of the tournament by defeating Tasmania in the play-off for seventh and eighth on the final day of the 2015 national championships at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium.

The 13-goal victory saw the NT match its 2012 finish – the last time it competed in the 21/U titles – while Tasmania also gained great experience over the week in the state’s first appearance in three years.

These two teams played out a thrilling draw earlier in the week and that trend continued in the first quarter of this showdown.

Tasmania took a narrow lead into quarter time but the NT were quick to take control of the match in the second quarter and went into half-time with a four-goal advantage._MCA5051Li

Some excellent shooting by Deni Taulelei in the third quarter coupled with strong pressure up the court by Jamie Collins and the defensive combination of Letisha Heintze and Georgette Paatsch enabled the NT to pull away with the match.

At three-quarter time the NT had opened up a 13-goal lead. But Tasmania did finish its week on a positive note by squaring the final quarter thanks to Zoe Claridge, who came into goal attack and shot at 86 per cent for the quarter.

Northern Territory shooting stats
Deni Taulelei 27/35 (77%)
Michelle Winch 10/12 (83%)
Megan Craufurd 3/4 (75%)

Tasmania shooting stats
Danielle Pickett 16/26 (61%)
Zoe Claridge 6/7 (86%)
Estelle Margetts 5/12 (42%)


Western Australia 54 defeated ACT 44

_MCA5703LiWestern Australia ended its tournament on a high after scoring a 10-goal victory over an improved ACT outfit in the play-off for fifth and sixth at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium.

The shooting combination of Kaylia Stanton and Sophie Garbin set up their side’s victory in the first half as the pair helped WA to a 10-goal lead at the main break.

_MCA6289LiThe ACT started the second half strongly with the first four goals of the third term and got as close as six goals before WA steadied with Stanton on target from mid-to-long range.

But it was a confidence boosting 15 minutes of netball for the ACT side with Carly Symons creative at wing attack and Alison Miller becoming the third shooter for the week to pass 200 goals.

WA went into the final term with a six-goal lead and weathered an early ACT burst sparked by Lauren Cantwell before pulling away to record its sixth victory of the week as both teams replicated its 2014 finishing positions.

Stanton also went passed 200 goals for the week in the second half.

Western Australia shooting stats
Kaylia Stanton 32/40 (80%)
Sophie Garbin 22/30 (73%)

ACT shooting stats
Alison Miller 25/32 (78%)
Lauren Cantwell 19/29 (66%)


Queensland 50 defeated New South Wales 40

_MCA7105LiQueensland has claimed its first 21/U National Championships’ bronze medal in seven years after toppling New South Wales in the play-off for third and fourth at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium.

A packed crowd predominantly dressed in maroon inspired the Queensland side to produce its best performance of the week and the 10-goal victory earned the host state the bronze medal for the first time since 2009.

It’s the first time since 2005 that New South Wales has not finished in the top three on the final placings.

The result was a 29-goal turnaround from the result earlier in the week won by New South Wales.

Both sides threw everything into the opening term and were determined to get a slight break on the other but scores were locked together at 12-all at quarter-time.

_MCA6737LiQueensland slowly began to get on top in the second term with defender Hulita Haukinima pulling off crucial intercepts and Mahalia Cassidy busy through the midcourt while Jemmason Power and Beryl Friday were only too happy to finish off their good work.

At half-time Queensland led by four goals and were determined not to produce a repeat of its disappointing third quarter in yesterday’s semi-final against South Australia.

Queensland took a strong grip on the match in the third quarter and gradually built on its lead as the crowd urged the team on sensing the likely upset victory.

_MCA6465LiThe Sky Blues tried gallantly to close the gap in the final term but Queensland weren’t to be denied its finest victory of the week.

The contest between New South Wales shooter Kristina Brice and her Queensland opponent Leah Middleton was also fascinating to watch.

Both enjoyed periods of dominance against each other throughout the match with Brice’s 34 goals giving her a tally of 392 for the week at an average of 43 a match.

Queensland shooting stats
Beryl Friday 28/36 (78%)
Jemmason Power 22/30 (73%)

New South Wales shooting stats
Kristina Brice 34/40 (85%)
Stephanie MacGougan 5/8 (62%)
Georgia Marshall 1/4 (25%)



South Australia 44 defeated Victoria 42


_MCA8152LiSouth Australia has claimed its third consecutive 21/U National Championship title after winning a hard-fought and close encounter with a talented and valiant Victorian team.

The favoured South Australian team did not drop a match for the entire tournament to remain undefeated on its way to a hat-trick of title.

South Australia and Victoria have met in the last three Grand Finals and today’s result was as agonising for Victoria as much as it was amazing for South Australia.

South Australian coach Brian Lines was proud of his side’s performance.

“We weren’t focused on the three peat. It was more about this group of girls and representing our state with pride,” Lines said.

And that’s exactly what this team did.

_MCA7221LiThe pre-game warm up made it clear that both teams were ready to fire and prove a point. Victoria were looking to avenge the past two Grand Final losses while South Australia looking to continue its dominance of the age group.

The first quarter developed into a shootout between Jane Cook (Victoria) and Georgie Virgo (South Australia) as both states traded offensive drives and desperate defence late into the quarter.

Victoria were two goal leaders at the first break and the second quarter again started with Victoria opening the scoring only for South Australia to come back and level the scores.

Victorian goal attack Anastasia Hamill made her presence known in the second quarter slotting multiple goals from distance to take Victoria out to a 19-16 lead.

Good defence was also a feature of the term, however Hamill made the second quarter her own.

Once again the third term began with both teams trading goals in quick succession with the deficit not going beyond three goals.

The pace of play picked up on the back of loud and sustained crowd support as both teams wrestled for superiority.

However the quarter ended with just one goal the difference, ensuring that the final quarter of the week would be a thriller.

_MCA8388LiSouth Australia quickly raced to a four-goal lead early on in the last term to make it clear that it was going to take some special play by Victoria to wrestle back the advantage.

The game started to open up as the physical toll of a week-long tournament began to show but Victoria wouldn’t give in and continued to take it right up to the reigning champs to the final whistle.

However they were unable to run down South Australia, who won a thrilling Grand Final by two goals and celebrated with a team hug on the court to the sounds of loud and sustained applause.


South Australia shooting stats
Georgie Virgo 28/37 (76%)
Chelsea Lemke 16/19 (84%)

Victoria shooting stats
Jane Cook 37/40 (93%)
Anatasia Hamill 4/10 (40%)
Madeline Morrison 1/5 (20%)