Third time lucky for Victoria in 19/U championships

Victoria survived a scare to end the state’s 19/U National Netball Championships title drought with a 31-27 victory over arch rivals New South Wales in the Grand Final at Perth’s State Netball Centre on Saturday afternoon.

After leading by eight goals mid-way through the second term, Victoria watched as New South Wales stormed to the lead in the third quarter.

But the Vics steadied to reclaim the lead in the final term and were able to produce some crucial turnovers in the final minutes that their shooters were able to convert and clinch the state’s first title in the 19/U age group since 2012.

Victoria had finished runners up the previous two years – including a loss to New South Wales in last year’s Grand Final in Sydney.

Winning coach Robynn Pym wasn’t afraid to ring changes to her line-up throughout the match, which she said proved vital in the overall context of the tournament.

_MCA0480Li“We did that all the way through the week, make those changes – and you’ve got to give these young ones that opportunity to perform,” Pym said.

“We’ve been able to expose 10 players to what it’s like on court in a Grand Final and that’s going to be great for their development.

“They’re going to go onwards and upwards from here.”

Pym, who led Victoria’s 17/U side to victory when the titles were last played in Perth back in 2008, said New South Wales captain Amy Parmenter helped shift the momentum in the third term and it took her side a bit of time to adjust.

“To New South Wales credit they just kept coming at us and they changed the speed through their midcourt as well and that caught us a little bit off guard,” Pym said.

“We had something in out kitbag; being relentless, going to those one percenters that were going to turn the game, have courage and really excellent defence.

“We knew if could get the ball to our goalers, they were shooting so well, it was just get it them and that’s what won the game for us.”

South Australia claimed the bronze medal for the third consecutive year after beating hosts Western Australia 47-34 in the play-off for third and fourth.

SA shooter Sasha Glasgow capped off her week by being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Queensland defeated the ACT 37-21 in the play-off for fifth and sixth while Tasmania defeated the Northern Territory 37-23 in the play-off for seventh and eighth.