Round 9: UTS St George Sparks v Panthers

Posted by: UTS St George Sparks
June 23, 2016

Round 9: UTS St George Sparks 52 d Panthers 48
Division: U20s

The UTS St George Sparks put in a fine performance to claim their seventh win of the Samsung Premier League season at Netball Central on Wednesday 22 June, beating the Panthers 52-48 and doing the season double over their opponents in the process.

The Sparks, who had a four-goal win over the Panthers (49-45) in their Round 2 clash earlier this year, retain their place in the top two as a result of the win, while the Panthers are in danger of dropping out of the all-important top four after registering their fourth loss of the season.

It was an entertaining start to the game as both sides impressed with quick ball movement and lots of attacking intent. The lead changed hands a few times in the first quarter but midway through it the Sparks held a slight 11-9 lead.

That was to be the catalyst for the Panthers to go on a four-goal run and hit the front again by two but they were soon hauled in by the Sparks, who were level a minute out from the first break and leading by the time it arrived.

The swift, end-to-end netball continued in the second period as both sides looked to take a handle on the contest. For the most part it was the Sparks who had the better of it and that was reflected on the scoreboard as they took a five-goal lead to the half time break.

The Panthers upped their intensity at the start of the second half with some tight passing and good marking putting them back within three goals of their opponents. The Sparks hit back soon after, however, with three scores of their own which took the lead out to six but some good turnovers in defence and midcourt allowed the Panthers trim the lead again.

At that stage it looked like the Panthers would head to the final break on a roll but some costly turnovers in the shooting end and good attacking work by St George allowed the Sparks stem the flow of scores and take a three-goal lead into the fourth quarter.

The game was there for the taking for either side in the final period and it was the Sparks who came out firing to take their biggest lead of the game – seven goals – after the first few minutes. That seemed to light a fuse under them as they started to win contests all over the court. The Panthers were trying hard but they were losing the vital midcourt battle and were unable to convert the chances they had.

The Penrith side did rally for a while and some quick scores had them back within four goals with five to play. However, the Sparks remained calm and kept their composure to maintain their advantage and keep the Panthers at bay.


Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
PANTHERS| Q1: 13 – Q2: 25 (12) – Q3: 38 (13) – Q4: 48 (10)
SPARKS| Q1: 14 – Q2: 30 (16) – Q3: 41 (11) – Q4: 52 (11)

Shooting Statistics (N/A)

Starting Line-ups
PANTHERS | GS Amelia Holz, GA Abbey McFadden, WA Chelsea Bolton, C Rylee Towell, WD Liana Hogarth, GD Maddison Mann, GK Renee Mihaere

SPARKS | GS Jade Harding, GA Kaitlyn Fisher, WA Tahisha Hunt, C Olivia Lennon, WD Khalia Rasch, GD Angela Cloeraine, GK Paige Pirotta



Round 9: UTS St George Sparks 55 d Panthers 42
Division: Opens

The UTS St George Sparks have registered their sixth win of the 2016 Samsung Premier League season with a 55-42 win over the Panthers at Netball Central on Wednesday 22 June.

In a tough, physical encounter the Sparks emerged victorious over a spirited Panthers side, who despite failing to add to their two wins so far this year, proved ample opponents for most of the encounter. Like their U20s team earlier in the night, the Sparks’ Opens side also managed the season double over their rivals, having beaten the Panthers 56-46 in Round 2 earlier this year.

The win keeps the Sparks in the top four of the competition and on track for the Finals, while the Panthers face an uphill battle to make them after registering a seventh loss.

The first quarter was a tight affair as the teams got to grips with each other. There was little to separate the sides as they traded goals in a period that was full of close marking and intense battles in the midcourt.

The Sparks started the slightly better of the sides but were never far ahead of the Panthers in a hard played, but riveting, opening. As the quarter went on the game opened up a little, which seemed to suit the Sparks more and they took a three-goal lead to the first break.

St George started the second quarter like they finished the first with some sweeping play and soon saw their lead extend to seven goals. Their movement was particularly good in the first two thirds of the court but the Panthers were difficult to break down in the shooting circle, where a patient, short passing game proved to be the key to unlocking them.

The Panthers, who had some costly turnovers in the shooting circle, traded goals with their opponents for a while to keep the lead at seven but a late attacking flurry from the Sparks saw them take a 10-goal advantage to the big break.

The third quarter started with St George responding to everything a hard-working Panthers side was throwing at them. The Penrith side were scoring goals but were unable to prevent their opponents from doing the same and were thus unable to make any real inroads into their lead.

The lead was cut to eight goals midway through the quarter but the Sparks stepped their game up again to restore a 10-goal advantage heading to the final break.

The Panthers needed to start the last quarter well and they did, rattling off four quick goals and reducing the deficit to six but the Sparks responded to take the sting out of their comeback. The lead was back out to 10 goals midway through the fourth quarter and with five to go St George started to play some smart, possession-based netball to ensure they saw out the win by 13 goals.


Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
PANTHERS| Q1: 13 – Q2: 22 (9) – Q3: 35 (13) – Q4: 42 (8)
SPARKS| Q1: 16 – Q2: 32 (16) – Q3: 45 (13) – Q4: 55 (10)

Shooting Statistics
PANTHERS: 42/65 @ 65%
J Pivac: 33/47 @ 70%
T Ojeda: 4/8 @ 50%
K Heddle: 5/11 @ 45%
SPARKS: 55/71 @ 71%
H Pearce: 39/48 @ 81%
L Towell:  14/17 @82 %
C Russell: 2/6 @ 34%

Starting Line-ups
PANTHERS | GS Jo Pivac, GA Tiesha Ojeda, WA Amenda Slingsby, C Lauren Hutchinson, WD Nikki Robson, GD Nicole Rohr, GK Mallorie Jansen

SPARKS | GS Holly Pearce, GA Laura Towell, WA Tayla Fraser, C Belynda Loveday, WD Brooke Lawrence, GD Nicole Styles, GK Stephanie MacGougan


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