21/Under National Championships quest

Follow Victoria’s progress at the 2015 21/U National Netball Championships on the naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast, match reports courtesy of Netball Australia.


Victoria 67 defeated New South Wales 60 (in extra time)

By ADAM McCLEERY [Netball Autralia}

_MCA4936LiVictoria stunned New South Wales in their semi-final clash, winning an extra-time thriller by seven goals to advance to its third consecutive Grand Final.

Victoria overturned the result from earlier in the week when the Sky Blues won by 15 goals.

The early stages of the first quarter saw Victorian goal shooter Jane Cook take her team to a 10-5 lead as she and goal attack Madeline Morrison combined for some superb one-two play.

Morrison was subbed off early in the game and replaced by Anastasia Hamill as NSW pinned the lead back to three goals by quarter-time.

The second quarter started much like the first with Victoria scoring first before NSW replied with quick goals of its own.

The deficit remained at three goals in Victoria’s favor for much of the second quarter as Cook capitalised on her height advantage.

_MCA4519LiNSW goal shooter Kristina Brice kept her team in the contest with solid shooting from all angles before the Sky Blues clicked their game up a notch to take a four-goal into the main break.

After Victoria opened the scoring in the third quarter, NSW continued to maintain its lead and stretched it out to as much as eight goals before Victoria fought back to reduce that to four goals by three-quarter time.

The final term started with both teams trading scoring shots as the Sky Blues raced out to a six-goal lead as they could eye a Grand Final spot.

Victoria picked up the pace and Cook continued to shoot with extreme accuracy to pull the NSW lead back and – with both benches and a packed crowd inside the Caloundra Stadium holding its breath – scored the tying goal with second left on the clock to send the match into extra time.

Victoria took the momentum early in the first period of extra time and didn’t let up as it quickly raced to a five-goal lead and eventually ran out seven-goal winners.

Cook deserves extra mention after shooting a phenomenal 96 per cent of her team’s total and also passing 300 goals for the week.

Victoria Shooting Stats
Jane Cook 63/69 (91%)
Anastasia Hamill 4/11 (36%)

New South Wales Shooting Stats
Kristina Brice 57/66 (86%)
Georgia Marshall 3/10 (30%)

Victoria 54 defeated ACT 53

DSC_5885Victoria was given an almighty scare before finishing its round robin campaign with a one-goal victory over a resolute ACT side in a thrilling contest.

It took Victoria right up until the final minute to shrug off its determined opponents before being able to claim its fifth victory of the week and set up a semi-final showdown against New South Wales on Saturday afternoon.

The ACT jumped its opponents in the opening minutes with the first four goals of the game and were able to maintain a slender lead for most of the first quarter, taking a two-goal advantage into the first break.

Although Victoria took the lead early in the second term, the ACT refused to wilt and stayed with its more fancied opponents right up until the half-time break with the Vics in front by two goals.

The break didn’t stop the ACT’s momentum and it continued to play with determination and were rewarded by regaining the lead late in the quarter to go into three-quarter time with a one-goal advantage.

DSC_5919Again the match see-sawed with Victorian flexing its muscle early in the last term to edge out by four goals. But the ACT was unwavering and again fought back with goal attack Lauren Cantwell in everything to regain the lead to set up a pulsating finish.

With scores level and less than two minutes on the clock, Victoria defender Kate Eddy pulled in a rebound and the side worked the ball down the court where Jane Cook put her side back in front.

Cook then scored from the resulting centre pass before a goal by ACT shooter Alison Miller right on the final whistle saw the final margin remain a solitary goal.

A gallant ACT will now face the Northern Territory in tomorrow’s classification matches.

Victoria shooting stats
Jane Cook 42/47 (89%)
Anastasia Hamill 10/11 (91)
Madeline Morrison 2/5 (40%)

ACT shooting stats
Alison Miller 32/40 (80%)
Lauren Cantwell 21/29 (72%)

Victoria 71 defeated Tasmania 22

DSC_5919A dominant shooting performance by Victorian shooter Jane Cook was the highlight of the state’s 49-goal victory over Tasmania.

Cook shot 51 goals – a tournament high – at 92 per cent accuracy from only three quarters on court as Victoria stayed in touch with the top two sides heading towards the business end of the tournament.

The Victorians, keen to bounce back from its previous night’s defeat against South Australia, came out firing from the opening whistle to lead by 16 goals at the first break. Remarkably, Cook scored all of Victoria’s 22 goals for the quarter.

By half-time the Vics had increased that lead to 26 goals and then enjoyed its most dominant quarter of the match in the third term, holding Tasmania to only two goals while skipping away to a 37-goal advantage.

Cook earned a well-deserved spell for the final term having contributed an amazing 96 per cent of Victoria’s score to three-quarter time.

Victoria shooting stats
Jane Cook 51/56 (92%)
Anastasia Hammill 15/21 (72%)
Elle Rice 5/7 (72%)

Tasmania shooting stats
Danielle Pickett 11/23 (48%)
Amelia von Stieglitz 7/18 (39%)
Estelle Margetts 4/7 (37%)

Victoria 51 defeated Queensland 39


DSC_6261Victoria has locked away a semi-final berth after producing a dominant second half performance to defeat Queensland in Round 6 action.

Both states went into the clash coming off victories in the morning rounds with Queensland determined to win and consolidate its spot in the top four.

The first half was a close affair with both sides looking to get the edge on the other. Victoria led narrowly at quarter-time and then the main break with the defences of both sides working hard.

But it was the third quarter where Victoria broke the game right open, doubling Queensland’s score to race to a match-winning 10-goal lead heading into the final term.

The host state could not keep up with the power of Victorian goal shooter Jane Cook, who again impressed with 42 goals at 88 per cent accuracy.

Victoria will be looking to round out its campaign against the ACT in Round 7 ahead of the semi-finals on Saturday while Queensland takes on Tasmania in its final round robin match.

Victoria shooting stats:
Jane Cook 42/48 (88%)
Madeline Morrison 9/13 (70%)

Queensland shooting stats:
Beryl Friday 23/32 (72%)
Jemmason Power 16/19 (77%)

Victoria 52 defeated Northern Territory 27

DSC_5429Victoria has bounced back from its Tuesday night loss to New South Wales to stay in the race for a major semi-final berth after beating the NT by 25 goals in the final match of Round 3.

The Territory side made Victoria work hard to get the two points. The opening term was an even affair with just one goal the difference at the first break in Victoria’s favor.

In the second quarter the Victorian defence of Leah Reilly and Madeline Balson were able to get on top of the NT shooters while, at the other end, the towering presence of Jane Cook was proving difficult to combat.

Victoria quickly raced away from the NT and by half-time had opened up a 10-goal lead. Coach Nicole Richardson then opted to introduce Anastasia Hamill into the match and her combination with Cook allowed Victoria to continue to build on its lead.

Victoria was able to double its score in the second half while restricting the NT to just 11 goals to claim its second win from three matches while the NT remain winless.

Victoria shooting stats
Jane Cook 31/37 (84%)
Anastasia Hamill 11/15 (74%)
Elle Rice 6/14 (43%)
Madeline Morrison 4/13 (31%)

NT shooting stats
Ramayer Gourley 16/19 (85%)
Deni Taulelei 5/9 (56%)
Megan Craufurd 4/4 (100%)
Michelle Winch 2/5 (40%)

South Australia 43 defeated Victoria 36


DSC_5262South Australia kept its eyes on the prize, maintaining its winning streak to defeat neighboring rivals Victoria to wrap up its day two campaign.

SA led throughout the entire match, but the Victorians continued to fight right to the finish.

Having finished runners up to South Australia the past two years, Victoria came out hard and were determined to outsmart the current champs.

Both teams were fierce in the first quarter but it was South Australia which led by two goals at the first break.

The high-paced game saw bodies being flung to the floor with bumps and bruises being the last thing on their minds.

By the end of the first half, the defending champs led by four goals to maintain the suspense and fierce competitiveness between the two rivals. That lead remained the same heading into the final term after an even third quarter.

South Australia’s goal attack Chelsea Lemke and goal shooter Georgie Virgo kept the Victorian defence on their toes for the full 60 minutes as SA finished the second day of competition on top of the ladder with its fourth victory.

South Australia shooting stats:
Chelsea Lemke 22/29 (76%)
Georgie Virgo 21/27 (78%)

Victoria shooting stats:
Jane Cook 30/34 (89%)
Madeline Morrison 4/9 (45%)
Anastasia Hamill 2/4 (50%)

Victoria 48 defeated Western Australia 33

The opening game of this year’s national championships at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium saw Victoria, runners up the past two years, start its campaign with a convincing first up win over Western Australia.

It was tight opening quarter with Victorian just ahead at the first break 10-9. However it didn’t take long for the Victorians to stamp their authority in the circle, pulling away early in the second quarter and never looking back.

Victoria led by 12 goals at half-time but WA’s second half was a lot better than its first.

The West Australian’s still executed some great netball down the stretch but could not match the shooting power of Victoria’s 198cm shooter Jane Cook, who shot at 86 per cent accuracy for the match.

Victorian shooting stats
Jane Cook 37/43 (86%)
Madeline Morrison 5/13 (38%)
Anastasia Hamill 3/4 (75%)
Elle Rice 3/9 (33%)

WA shooting stats
Kaylia Stanton 21/32 (66%)
Sophie Garbin 7/11 (64%)
Kimberley Burton 5/6 (83%)

New South Wales 54 defeated Victoria 39

DSC_4408The Sky Blues have shown they will be a major contender for this year’s 21/U national title after beating traditional rivals Victoria by 15 goals to open the afternoon session on day 1.

It was the first time that NSW has beaten Victoria at these titles since the 2012 semi-final in Perth.

Having lost to Victoria by one goal and four goals at last year’s titles in Adelaide on their way to a third-placed finish, NSW set out to finish the first day with two victories and led by two goals at quarter time.

The Sky Blues began to step up their game in the second term and went into the main break leading by five goals.

The third quarter was where NSW set up its win, restricting Victoria to just seven goals while piling on 11 to extend its lead to nine goals heading into the final term.

With shooter Kristina Brice proving a formidable target in the goal circle, the Sky Blues powered away in the final term to record an important victory.

New South Wales shooting stats
Kristina Brice 47/53 (87%)
Georgia Marshall 7/14 (50%)


Victoria shooting stats
Jane Cook 32/39 (83%)
Madeline Morrison 5/12 (42%)
Maggie Lind 2/2 (100%)