Hawks live on in Under 20s competition

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ERNA Hawks have managed to secure a place in the Preliminary Final of the 2017 Samsung Premier League U20s division, defeating GWS Fury by one point, 48-47, in the closing seconds of their clash at the Genea Netball Centre on Wednesday 6 September.

The Hawks will now face UTS St George Sparks next week for a place in the Grand Final against Panthers. The Sparks lost the Major Semi Final to Panthers 48-41 – READ FULL REPORT HERE.

It was an intense match-up from the opening whistle and the lead was contested continually throughout the first quarter as the teams fought to settle into the game while maintaining pressure on each other.

Fury’s circle feeds were especially strong and their attack end was supported by a strong defence with Fury GK Chloe Longi winning multiple intercepts from Hawks circle feeds. However, it was Hawks who secured a series of goals at end the quarter to gain a slight advantage, 13-12.

Fury won an intercept on Hawks’ quarter-opening centre pass but were unable to convert, giving ERNA an opportunity to secure a small lead. Defensive pressure from Fury was relentless, with both GK Longi and GD Lauryn Neto winning intercepts off circle feeds.

It looked like Fury might take the lead, converting a series of turnovers to close in on the Hawks’ advantage, but their opponents’ defence answered in kind to maintain the pressure on the GWS attack and hold onto the lead at the end of the first half, 27-24.

Hawks hit the ground running in the third quarter with GK Olivia Coleman preventing a series of Fury circle feeds.  Conversions from turnovers then helped ERNA extend their lead to nine within the first five minutes. Under pressure from a sudden scoreboard deficit, Fury struggled to find space and momentum in attack.

A mid-quarter substitution – Emily Dunn to GA – provided a much needed change of pace for Fury but Hawks were able to hold onto their lead, finishing the penultimate quarter 43-35 ahead.

A crucial intercept from Fury GD Neto brought the score back to within five in the opening minutes of the last quarter, with Fury gaining incredible momentum in their come-back attempt.

Another two intercepts in a row from Fury’s GK put the score difference back to one, and with three minutes remaining GWS had managed to even score.

With both teams feeling the intense pressure, it was anyone’s game going into the final seconds. A last second turnover, won by Hawks while one goal ahead, was all the team needed to steal the game from Fury.

ERNA maintained possession to the final whistle to win 48-47, securing their place in next week’s Prelim.

Quarter-by-quarter scores
FURY | Q1: 12 – Q2: 24(12) Q3: 35 (11) Q4: 47 (12)
HAWKS | Q2: 13 – Q2: 26 (13) Q3: 43 (17) Q4: 48 (5)

Starting Line-Ups
FURY | GS Lauren Woods, GA Chloe Chapman, WA Chaise Vassallo, C Anaseini Nauqe, WD Taylah Flood, GD Lauryn Neto, GK Chloe Longi
HAWKS | GS Sophie Dwyer, GA Lauren Baxter, WA Ebony Burnard, C Capri Vidler, WD Chelsea Loughrey, GD Deni Ross, GK Olivia Coleman

Shooting Statistics
FURY | 47/58 @ 81%
L Woods: 38/43 @ 88%
E Chapman: 6/11 @ 55%
E Dunn: 3/4 @ 45%

HAWKS | 48/72 @ 67%
S Dwyer: 35/41 @ 85%
L Baxter: 13/21 @ 62%

Match report by Emma Hayman