Round 12 Sparks v Heart: Opens

Posted by: Sparks Netball
August 18, 2017

Round 12: UTS St George Sparks 66 d Central Coast Heart 56

Earlier this week, UTS St George Sparks Opens side defeated Central Coast Heart, 66-56, in Round 11 of the Samsung Premier League at the Genea Netball Centre. It was an important win for the Sparks, who have now moved up into second place on the competition ladder in the lead up to finals.

Both teams shot out of the blocks with intensity, establishing a fast-paced game style from the opening whistle.

Defensive pressure from Sparks on the Hearts’ offensive transverse won them a series of key turnovers off the centre pass and second stage, putting them in a good position at the first break to lead by three goals.

Heart, sitting just outside the top four, refused to let Sparks extend their lead far by making an early second quarter comeback to even out the score in the opening minutes.

Both defensive ends worked overtime to prevent goal conversions, with the first half littered with multiple tips and intercepts coming from both sides. However, it was Sparks that maintained their lead at half-time after rallying late in the first half to take back control.

Sparks opened the second half with some impressive gameplay, successfully finding space in attack and putting the pressure on their opposition with strong defence, giving the UTS side opportunities to pull ahead on the scoreboard.

A beautifully-taken intercept by Heart GD Laura Rodger, off an attempted long pass into Sparks GS Kristina Brice, looked like the opportunity the Central Coast side was looking for to turn the game in their favour.  Impressively high shooting accuracy from GS Madeleine Taylor, shooting at 96%, certainly helped as they chased down the Sparks’ lead.

At the end of the penultimate quarter, Heart managed to keep a check on the Sparks but couldn’t quite make up ground to trail by five heading into the final 15 minutes.

Intensity lifted from both teams as players became more vocal on court; however it was the Sparks who remained calm under pressure, delivering their strongest quarter of the game to increase their advantage over the Heart to win by ten goals, 66-56.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
SPARKS| Q1: 16 – Q2: 31 (15) – Q3: 48 (17) – Q4: 66 (18)
HEARTS | Q1: 13 – Q2: 26 (15) – Q3: 43 (17) – Q4: 56 (13)

Starting Line-Ups
SPARKS | GS Kristina Brice, GA Beryl Friday, WA Kaitlyn Bryce, C Tayla Fraser, WD Amy Parmenter, GD Jordan Beclingfield, GK Olivia Rowntree
HEARTS | GS Madeleine Taylor, GA Carly Leembruggen, WA Kristen Kessler, C Demi Evans, WD Alicia Walsh, GD Laura Rodger, GK Leanne Grevenitz

Shooting Statistics
SPARKS: 66/78 @ 85%
K. Brice: 40/49 @ 89%
B. Friday: 26/29 @ 90%

HEARTS: 56/61 @ 92%
M. Taylor: 48/50 @ 96%
C. Leembruggen: 8/11 @ 73%

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