The Victorian Fury’s domination of the 2013 ANL season is complete after they claimed their fourth title following a five-goal win over the Netball New South Wales Waratahs in today’s Grand Final in Adelaide.
The 56-51 victory at Adelaide’s Netball SA Stadium saw the Fury finish the season undefeated, emulating the feats of the Waratahs in 2011.
There was further cause for celebrations with the Fury’s Malawi goal shooter Mwai Kumwenda capping off her outstanding season by winning the competition’s Most Valuable Player award.
Kumwenda shot 38 goals in the Grand Final at 97 per cent accuracy to finish the season with a new record of 461 goals.
A jubilant Fury coach Stacey West had nothing but praise for her players.
“The athletes were outstanding in their preparation to play and their ability to compete and their love of playing and representing Victoria,” West said.
“So I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The Waratahs dominated the Grand Final early, leading by eight goals early in the second term before the Fury fought back to take the lead by a goal at half-time.
After the two sides traded goals for most of the third term, the Fury were able to pull clear late in the quarter and then put the exclamation point on the result in the final 15 minutes.
“Credit to our opposition,” West said.
“We were forced to have to make changes to our combinations and structures so we could find our momentum. Both matches this weekend were fiercely competitive and showed the true spirit and ability of our athletes to overcome adversity and really fight to win matches.”
Earlier, the Victorian Flames capped off a successful debut season in the competition by claiming the bronze medal after beating the Southern Force 53-52 in the play-off for third and fourth spots.
The Flames over ran the Force in the final term to win thanks to some clutch shooting by youngsters Alice Teague-Neeld and Kate Thompson.
The Flames led narrowly at quarter-time and half-time before the Force produced a strong third term to get out to a four-goal lead thanks to goal attack Stephanie Puopolo.
But the Flames started the final term strongly, reclaiming the lead thanks to an 8-1 run and they held onto the lead in the final few minutes to claim victory against the defending champions.
GRAND FINAL RESULT
Victorian Fury (56) defeated NNSW Waratahs (51)
Fury shooting statistics
Mwai Kumwenda 38/39 (97%)
Ashlee Howard 18/20 (90%)
Waratahs shooting statistics
Melissa Tallent 27/31 (87%)
Leah Shoard 24/31 (77%)
PLAY-OFF FOR 3rd and 4th
Victorian Flames (53) defeated Southern Force (52)
Flames shooting statistics
Alice Teague-Neeld 26/33 (79%)
Kate Thompson 23/24 (96%)
Megan Fitzpatrick 4/4 (100%)
Force shooting statistics
Stephanie Puopolo 35/40 (88%)
Laura Packard 17/23 (74%)