World champ assists Waratahs open ANL season

A member of Australia’s triumphant 2015 Netball World Cup team featured in an action-packed opening round of the 2016 Australian Netball League (ANL) reports AIMEE DAWSON.

Midcourter Paige Hadley suited up for the Netball NSW Waratahs in their opening match of the season against QLD Fusion in Brisbane and gave her side the edge as they claimed a 68-46 victory.

Hadley, an Australian Diamonds squad member, joined the Waratahs after playing one quarter for the NSW Swifts in the ANZ Championship game that preceded the ANL contest.

She was joined by Swifts teammates Stephanie Wood, Amy Sommerville, Lauren Moore and Kaitlyn Bryce.

The injection of those experienced players saw the Waratahs with a considerable edge, leading at every break to win by a dominating 22 goals in the first meeting between the sides.

It was a different story in the second meeting of the round with the Waratahs forced to play without their Swifts representatives.

The match was much closer than the Saturday night contest. Fusion led at every break and nothing could separate the two sides at the end of 60 minutes, finishing 51-all.

Fusion were able to call on Queensland Firebirds shooting combination of Beryl Friday and Chelsea Lemke for the second game.

In Melbourne, reigning champions Victorian Fury made a clean sweep of their two matches against Canberra Darters, winning both games by 17 and 16 goals respectively.

It was a one-sided affair in the opening game with the Fury dominating at every break off the back of some great defence from Shannon Eagland and Fiona Themann to win 51–34.

It was the same in the second match, played at Hisense Arena, with the Fury leading at every break thanks to some accurate shooting from Jane Cook and Kate Thompson.

Darters did enjoy a good patch in the second quarter, fighting back from a seven-goal deficit to just two. But that would be as close as they would get as Fury eventually powered away to a 53-37 result.

The two wins stretches Fury’s record-breaking winning streak to 34 matches and coach Cathy Fellows said while it was a good start to the season, there’s still improvements her squad can make.  

“Everybody got a turn out on court and that’s part of the learning experience for them all,” Fellows said.  

Fellows also said that she was a fan of the new-look draw, where teams play each other twice in the one round.

“It was actually a really good opportunity to learn from one game and take it into the next game, you don’t get that very often where you play exactly the same team twice in a row,” she said.

“We were aiming to improve (across the two games) and saying that we had two quarters where we were significantly better but a couple of poor quarters so I guess it’s been consistent.”

The Waratahs host Darters across two matches at Sydney Olympic Park next weekend.

Week 1 results

Netball NSW Waratahs 68 def QLD Fusion 46
Waratahs shooting stats
Stephanie Wood 33/37 (89%)
Kiera Austin 26/33 (79%)
Amy Sommerville 9/9 (100%)

Fusion shooting stats
Beryl Friday 21/28 (75%)
Abigail Meafou-Latu 14/18 (77%)
Cara Koenen 11/17 (65%)


Victorian Fury 51 def Canberra Darters 34
Fury shooting stats
Jane Cook 15/16 (94%)
Kate Thompson 13/17 (76%)
Mikaela Vaughan 12/16 (75%)
Samantha Gooden 11/12 (92%)

Canberra Darters
Lauren Cantwell 11/16 (69%)
Simone Nalder 11/18 (61%)
Natalie Eldridge 10/11 (91%)
Leigh Kalsbeek 2/2 (100%)


QLD Fusion 51 drew with Netball NSW Waratahs 51
Fusion shooting stats
Beryl Friday 30/38 (79%)
Chelsea Lemke 21/27 (78%)

Waratahs shooting stats
Kiera Austin 31/34 (91%)
Georgia Marshall 10/14 (71%)
Vanessa Mullampy 7/13 (54%)


Victorian Fury 53 def Canberra Darters 37
Fury shooting stats
Jane Cook 21/22 (96%)
Mikaela Vaughan 12/15 (80%)
Kate Thompson 11/13 (85%)
Samantha Gooden 9/16 (57%)

Canberra Darters
Natalie Eldridge 22/27 (82%)
Lauren Cantwell 15/25 (60%)