The Panthers have secured their place in 2016 SAMSUNG Premier League U20s Division Preliminary Final with an amazing 55-51 comeback win over North Shore United at Netball Central on Wednesday, 10 August.
Ten down at one stage, the Panthers showed huge resolve to put in an epic second half performance that was full of passion, commitment and belief to take their place in the competition’s final three and set up a date with the Stingrays next week for the right to meet the UTS St George Sparks in this year’s Grand Final.
North Shore played a huge part in the game too and were fantastic in the opening half, but in the end they just ran out of steam when it mattered most.
Both sides played nice expansive netball in the opening quarter and there was little to separate them early on with the teams locked up at 6-6 midway through the period.
Good work from wing attack Ally Wahby allowed Sarah Jane Corfield and Georgina Woods the chance to score quickly and soon it was United controlling the game, 13-8 in front, before taking a 15-10 advantage the to the first break.
North Shore had the better of things again the in the second quarter and were quick to open up a 10-goal lead with clean, crisp passing key to their game plan.
The Panthers were trying hard but were turning over too much ball, with a lot of long passes being picked off by the North Shore defence. They did finish the period well, however, and reduced the halftime deficit to seven goals to keep United well within sight.
The Penrith side continued their good work early in the third to get within five thanks to some good shooting from Amelia Holz and Abbey McFadden but Corfield and Woods were responding in kind to keep them at arm’s length.
A quick Holz double and long-range effort by McFadden – after some good work by Chelsea Bolton in the midcourt – had the Panthers back within two (38-36) and suddenly all the momentum was with them. A costly United turnover then afforded Holz the chance to get the Penrith side back within one, which she took, before Corfield sunk another to leave two between the sides at the final break.
The Panthers were on level terms (45-45) five minutes into the last quarter before Holz edged them in front with a delicate shot from under the goal post. United were missing chances at the shooting end, which Panthers GK Renee Mihaere pounced on, and before long Holz and McFadden had given their side a five-goal lead.
From there they played the clock with their short passing game frustrating United into turning the ball over. They also struck when they had the chance, Holz – who shot at an amazing 96% – taking the lead out to six with just over a minute remaining and giving United no chance of a late look-in.
UNITED | Q1: 15 – Q2: 30 (15) – Q3: 43 (13) – Q4 51 (8)
PANTHERS | Q1: 10 – Q2: 23 (13) – Q3: 41 (18) – Q4: 55 (14)
UNITED: 51/60 @ 85%
SJ Corfield: 31/34 @ 91%
G Woods: 20/26 @ 77%
PANTHERS: 55/59 @ 93%
A Holz: 44/46 @ 96%
A McFadden: 10/12 @ 83%
M Bull: 1/1 @ 100%
UNITED | GS Sarah Jane Corfield, GA Georgina Woods, WA Ally Wahby, C Kaitlin McCaffrey, WD Grace Hill, GD Chloe Fryday, GK Tara Rigney.
PANTHERS | GS Amelia Holz, GA Abbey McFadden, WA Chelsea Bolton, C Rylee Towell, WD Liana Hogarth, GD Maddison Mann, GK Renee Mihaere.