Victoria turned the tables on New South Wales in this year’s 19/Under National Championships Grand Final, running out 27-19 winners at the Silverdome in Launceston.
VIC led from start to finish, having set up a small lead in the first quarter. NSW held them in the second quarter but could not contain the strong VIC team for the last half in what was a very entertaining game, characterized by great defensive work and teamwork.
In a low scoring first quarter, with both teams making some costly errors through undisciplined play, it was VIC who settled in to the rhythm of the game first and took the early lead at the end of the first quarter 8-4.
VIC started very strongly in the second, working the ball rapidly though the midcourt however at times, both teams found difficulty releasing the ball, due to the defensive pressure on players. Morgan Mitchell, (VIC) displayed excellent agility and defensive skills through the centre court, as did NSW defender Courtney Torpy with her rebounding.
In a closely fought quarter, with the honours being shared, VIC managed to maintain their lead of 4 goals, 14-10.
VIC was on the score board early in the second half, with VIC answering quickly with two goals of their own to reduce the lead to three. NSW quickly countered to take the lead out to six.
Joanna Weston worked very hard maintaining a very close checking game on her much taller opponent, limiting her opportunity to receive the ball and score.
The Victorians extended their lead by two goals, to lead by six going into the final quarter.
NSW looked to find something in the last quarter with Claudia Russell coming on to assist in offence as goal shooter and Amy Sommerville moving to goal attack, but once again they had limited opportunity.
Throughout the game the VIC circle defenders were close checking and making good interceptions, allowing their team greater use of the ball and giving their shooters many more opportunities to score.
VIC eventually running out deserved victors by 8 goals, with the final score being 27-19.
In the bronze medal match, South Australians avenged last year’s defeat to Queensland in the corresponding fixture and overcame a four year bronze medal playoff hoodoo which has seen them finish fourth every year since 2008 with a 34-27 victory. A 12-5 third quarter helped South Australia over the line when scores were close at half-time. After an even start which saw Queensland go into the first break leading 9-7, South Australia struck back after quarter-time to go into half-time narrowly ahead at 16-14. Trailing 28-19 heading into the fourth quarter, Queensland finished the game strongest winning the last term 8-6 but the result was beyond reach as SA held on to win the bronze.
Western Australia finished fifth with a 14-goal first quarter set up victory for WA over Tasmania while the Northern Territory defeated the ACT to finish in seventh.
19/U National Netball Championships
7th/8th - Northern Territory (32) defeated ACT (21)
5th/6th - Western Australia (39) defeated Tasmania (25)
3rd/4th - South Australia (34) defeated Queensland (27)
Grand Final - Victoria (27) defeated New South Wales (19)
1st – Victoria
2nd – New South Wales
3rd – South Australia
4th – Queensland
5th – Western Australia
6th – Tasmania
7th – Northern Territory
8th – ACT
San Remo Most Valuable Player: Kimberley Ravaillion (NSW)
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