Victorian Fury (62) defeated QLD Fusion (37)
By AIMEE DAWSON
Victorian Fury have recorded their 31st straight win and progressed to their third consecutive Australian Netball League Grand Final after defeating QLD Fusion 62-37 at the Waverley Netball Centre.
The experienced campaigners for the Fury settled first and were dominant early in the match with captain Elle Bennetts and Jo Weston impressive in defence.
It was all Fury early with the Victorian team taking a 7-2 lead mid-way through the opening term, which they extended to eight goals by the first break.
Fury continued their form going into the second quarter with goal keeper Fiona Themann menacing the Fusion shooters. Bennetts and Fusion’s Mahlia Cassidy were engaged in a great tussle at centre with both players fighting hard to get the ball.
With the lead extending out to 10 goals, Fusion rallied to bring it back to seven off the back of their defenders Laura Clemesha and Madeleine Walsh.
However it was a temporary reprieve, with Fury bouncing back to a 10-goal half-time lead 28-18.
A series of errors by both teams started the second half, with both teams opting to make changes to their line-up.
It was Fusion who would settle first, with the swapping of Abigail Latu-Meafou and Cara Koenen in the shooting end paying dividends; while the introduction of Hulita Haukinima into goal defence gave the Fusion an extra spark in defence.
With their defence beginning to anticipate Victoria’s attack, the Queensland side were able to create many turnovers. However they were unable to get it to their attacking end, enabling the Fury to continue to extend their lead to 17 by the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was dominated by the Fury, with the Victorian side scoring three quick goals to open the final term and make the lead 20 goals. Fury continued to extend their margin to 25 goals and claim the win.
Fury shooting statistics
Emma Ryde 42/47 (89%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 14/19 (74%)
Gabrielle Sinclair 6/6 (100%)
Fusion shooting statistics
Abigail Latu-Meafou 20/24 (83%)
Cara Koenen 13/17 (76%)
Dominique Scott 4/4 (100%)
Southern Force (63) defeated Western Sting (46)
Southern Force secured their place in the Australian Netball League season decider after comfortably accounting for Western Sting by 17 goals in the second semi-final.
Both sides threw everything into the opening term determined to get a slight break on the other and scores were locked together until the final minutes of the quarter where Force were able to pull away to a four-goal lead at quarter-time.
The defence was strong at both ends through the first quarter, picking up loose balls and taking rebounds. Notably, Force used the infamous `chair lift’ to helping to intercept a shot at goal.
In the second quarter, the Western Sting missed a series of attempts at goal and Force monopolized on this, converting rebounds into goals to streak out to a 12-goal lead by half-time.
In the final seconds of the half, Force defender Kate Shimmin called an injury time out and left the court in pain holding her knee and took no further part in the game. Force will be hoping she recovers overnight to be fit to play in Sunday’s Grand Final.
Force continued their dominance in the third quarter quickly converting centre passes into goals. Cody Lange was on fire not missing during the quarter and was benched at three-quarter time with 29 goals at 97 per cent accuracy having done her job in setting up the victory.
Sting did salvage something out the final term, reducing the three-quarter time deficit from 20 goals down to the final margin of 17.
Force shooting stats
Cody Lange 29/30 (97%)
Chelsea Lemke 28/35 (80%)
Georgie Virgo 4/4 (100%)
Laura Packard 2/2 (100%)
Sting shooting stats
Kaylia Stanton 28/35 (80%)
Emma Cosh 11/14 (79%)
Lisa Millman 7/9 (78%)