Round 9 Sparks v Sapphires: Opens

Posted by: Sparks Netball
July 28, 2017

Round 9: UTS St George Sparks 46 d Manly Warringah Sapphires 43

UTS St George Sparks defeated Manly Warringah Sapphires 46-43 in Round 9 of the Samsung Premier League on Wednesday 26 July at the Genea Netball Centre.

Off one of the first passes in the game, Sparks starting GA Beryl Friday went down with an ankle injury, leaving the court to be replaced by Laura Towell.

The Sapphires’ defensive pressure held up the Sparks attack, but the latter gradually regained momentum in the opening minutes and evened the score 11-11 at the end of the first quarter.

The Sparks took the lead in the second quarter, finishing the first half 24-20 ahead.  Sapphires GK Hannah Creeklman won two intercepts in a row, but the team struggled to steal back the lead as their conversion opportunities were smothered by the Sparks’ defence.

Fast game-play, combined with one-on-one defence, from both teams lifted the intensity of the game with players hitting the court multiple times in the fight for a significant lead in the third quarter.

Strong rebounds from the Sparks’ defensive duo of GD Nicole Styles and GK Kara Styles then provided turnover opportunities for St George to extend their lead.  The Sapphires stifled many of their conversion attempts, putting pressure on the circle feeds in the attacking end, however it was not enough to stop Sparks from extending their lead 36-28 going into the final quarter.

The pressure was on the top-of-table Sapphires to regain goals on the scoreboard early in the fourth and GS Georgia Marshall was particularly strong in finding space in the goal circle, but relentless defence from Sparks there and in mid-court areas – including some impressive swooping intercepts from WD Amy Parmenter – helped the Sparks maintain their lead despite losing the quarter.

On the final whistle, the Sparks had defeated the Sapphires 46-43.

Quarter-by-quarter scores
SAPPHIRES | Q1: 11 – Q2: 20 (9) Q3: 28 (8) Q4: 43 (15)
SPARKS | Q2: 11 – Q2: 24 (13) Q3: 36 (12) Q4: 46 (10)

Starting Line-Ups
SAPPHIRES | GS Georgia Marshall, GA Kelly Singleton, WA Mikah Van Gogh, C Nikki Deganaars, WD Brooke Lawrence, GD Stephanie MacGougan, GK Hannah Creeklman
SPARKS | GS Natalie Eldridge, GA Beryl Friday, WA Kaitlyn Bryce, C Tayla Fraser, WD Amy Parmenter, GD Nicole Styles, GK Kara Styles

Shooting Statistics
SAPPHIRES | 43/58 @ 74%
G Marshall: 33/44 @ 75%
K Singleton: 9/12 @ 75%
L Cantwell: 1/2 @ 50%

SPARKS | 46/54 @ 85%
N Eldridge: 7/8 @ 88%
B Friday: 26/30 @ 87%
L Towell: 13/16 @ 81%


Match reports by Emma Hayman