The win sees the Fury claim their fourth consecutive ANL title, and coach Cathey Fellowes said it’s exciting to be part of such a successful team.
“I’m rapt, I’m just glad it’s over to be honest,” Fellowes said.
“There’s a lot of pressure as a Fury coach and expectations for it to be a win, but I enjoy those expectations as well.”
Fury captain Fiona Themann said that the team was pretty pumped with the win.
“It’s a bit of pressure going in when you’ve already won three in a row, so to do it a fourth time is fantastic,” Themann said.
Nothing could separate the teams in the first quarter, with neither team getting more than three goals ahead.
The Waratahs held a one goal lead at the first break, 12 – 11.
Fellowes said that the team was struggling with grand final nerves during the first quarter.
“We got the grand final nerves out of the way and they really stuck to the processes,” Fellowes said.
It was a different Fury unit in the second quarter, with Tayla Honey injected into the game at centre.
Scoring the first five goals of the second quarter, the Fury stormed out to claim a seven goal lead, which they maintained into the third quarter.
Bodies were flying everywhere in the third period, with the physicality of the game stepping up, however no significant inroads were able to be made by the Waratahs, going into the final quarter with a six goal deficit.
The Waratahs made changes in defence for the final quarter to try and stem the flow into the Fury’s shooters, however nothing could stop the combination of Honey and Ella Bayliss.
Halfway through the final quarter, the margin blew out to 10 goals, the Fury leading the Waratahs 46 – 36.
Alison Miller took the court for the Waratahs in an attempt to reduce the margin, however the team couldn’t get pass the six goal barrier.
Fury defender Fiona Themann stopped any chance of a comeback by the NSW side in the last few minutes of the match, claiming crucial intercepts at pivotal moments.
The Waratahs succumbed by seven goals, 53 – 46, with the scoreline not reflecting the closeness of the match.
Themann said that working with each other was a focus for the team heading into the game.
“Our main thing was to make sure we worked together as units,” Themann said.
“All credit to the girls, it was a really tough game out there today.”
Fury shooter Jane Cook was a powerhouse in attack for the premiers, scoring 46 goals from 52 attempts.
Fellows said that Cook really impressed her during the game.
“Jane stood up really well under a lot of physical pressure,” Fellowes said.
Earlier in the day the Western Sting won the bronze medal in their play-off against the Southern Force.
Sting coach Michelle Wilkins was pleased with her players’ efforts in the win.
“I think it’s a really fitting outcome for the group,” Wilkins said.
“Today what I was most impressed with, was that we gave a four quarter effort.
“I know it’s cliché in sport and everyone’s striving for that four quarters, but today I thought all seven players on court delivered quality effort over four quarters,” Wilkins said.
The Sting have now finished with the bronze medal five times in the ANL.
“Our challenge now is to go from this level and build from it into the next campaign,” said Wilkins.
Both teams were guilty of turning the ball over early in the fast-paced game, however it would be the Sting with an early lead of three goals.
The teams took turns leading in the final minutes of the first quarter, but the Sting would finish with a one goal lead at the first break that they would hold to until the end of the match.
The margin was reduced by the Force in the third quarter, getting as close as four goals, however the Sting would finish the quarter with an eight goal lead.
The Force again were able to reduce the margin briefly in the last quarter, however the final score would remain the eight-goal difference, with the Sting claiming a 68 – 60 win.
Young shooter Sophie Garbin provided the x-factor for the Sting, unstoppable in attack, scoring 59 goals from 66 attempts at 89 per cent for the match.
Vanessa Mullampy from the NNSW Waratahs was named MVP for the ANL season, and played a pivotal role in attack for her team.
Image credit: David Callow