Western Australia have consolidated a top four spot on the New Idea Australian Netball League ladder with a one-point win on the road, 57-56, over the Netball NSW Blues in a nail-biter at the Anne Clark Centre, Lidcombe tonight.
The Blues got away to a slow start, turning over their first possession to W.A., the visitors proceeded to streak away to a 4-0 start before the Blues got on the board. After losing to their local rivals Netball NSW Waratahs last week the Blues were finding their way to the circle much more easily and GS Alix McDermott was 10 from 10 in the quarter, but Stacey Northey was too strong a presence in GS for W.A., converting 15-of-16 attempts.
The NSW team fought back within one point and the teams traded goals as W.A. held off the Blues to take a three point lead after the first quarter, 19-16.
The Blues were quickly back within one point in the second quarter but the West Australian hands of the Blues’ passes were causing some havoc for NSW and W.A. capitalised to extended their lead by one point at halftime, 34-30.
The Blues made some changes at halftime to try and combat W.A.’s offence with GK Nicole Styles coming out to GD, Maddie Smith coming on as GK and Abbey McCulloch bringing some fresh legs into WD, while W.A. brought on Sarah East as GA and a new circle defence duo with Alice Coakley in GD and Sarah Tatum at GK.
The moves paid immediate dividends for the home team with Smith making an intercept in W.A.’s first foray into their offensive end, before creating another turnover four minutes into the quarter.
A missed shot by Northey allowed the Blues to level at 37-37 before forging ahead, taking the lead for the first time in the game with nine minutes to play in the third term. W.A. stole back the lead in the final minute of the third but the Blues scored again in the dying seconds to level the scores at 46 points apiece heading into the fourth quarter.
The Blues brought Ashlee Weir on in C in the final quarter, the only other change was W.A. bringing their first half GD Mia Washbourne back on as GK to attempt to halt Blues sharp-shooting GS Alix McDermott.
The momentum see-sawed as both teams tried to gain the ascendancy as first W.A. got out to a three-point lead before the Blues fought back to go ahead by one. The teams traded goals but when W.A. slotted their 57th point to go up by one with only seconds remaining, time ran out for any chance of a Blues fight back.
Quarter by quarter:
Western Australia 19, 34, 46, 57
Netball NSW Blues 16, 30, 46, 56
Stacey Northey 41/52 @ 79%
Ashleigh Neal 7/8 @ 87%
Sarah East 9/14 @ 64%
Netball NSW Blues:
Alix McDermott 35/42 @83%
Vanessa Mullamoy 21/28 @75%
Game Sheet | 1st Qtr| 2nd Qtr| 3rd Qtr| 4th Qtr
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