The Tasmanian Magpies are the first team to book a place in the gold medal match of the Australian Netball League (ANL), downing the NSW Waratahs by 11 goals in the semi-final hosted at the ACT Netball Centre.

The Magpies took a four-goal lead early and never relinquished it, holding the higher-placed Waratahs scoreless for four nervous minutes.

Matisse Letherbarrow and Mary Livesey contest the ball. Photo by Ben Southall.

The message from the Magpies bench was “simple, simple”, referring to the pathway to the towering Jane Cook. Cody Lange provided a great foil to Cook’s hold, cutting through the front of the circle and sinking long shots.

The Waratahs finished each quarter strongly, chipping away at the lead through accurate shooting from teenage sensation Matisse Letherbarrow.

Clare Iongi wins a ball in front of Jane Cook. Photo by Ben Southall.

Full-court defence from the Magpies forced miscommunication from the Waratahs at times. Kelsie Rainbow and Vanessa Augustini won the battle of the midcourt, piling the pressure on through the centre corridor.

The Magpies’ lead was out to seven goals at half-time, but an even third quarter set up a tense final 15 minutes.

Jane Cook was strong under the post. Photo by Ben Southall.

The Waratahs showed why they finished second on the ladder, throwing everything at the Magpies in the first five minutes of the last quarter to draw within two goals.

Sharni Lambden and Mary Livesey anchored in defence for the Magpies, picking up crucial intercepts to take the lead back out to seven and break the Waratahs comeback.

Vanessa Augustini controlled the midcourt for the Magpies. Photo: Ben Southall.

The Magpies ran away with the game in the final minutes to end with an 11-goal win. They will face the winner of the second semi-final between the Canberra Giants and the Victorian Fury in the gold medal match tomorrow.

Tasmanian Magpies 66 def NSW Waratahs 55
(15-12, 33-26, 49-42, 66-55)

 

Tasmanian Magpies
Jane Cook 55/58 95%
Cody Lange 11/17 65%
55/62 89%

NSW Waratahs
Matisse Letherbarrow 41/46 89%
Laura Towell 5/6 83%
Natalie Eldridge 9/10 90%
66/75 88%

 

Starting lineups

Tasmanian Magpies
GS Jane Cook
GA Cody Lange
WA Kelsie Rainbow
C Vanessa Augustini
WD Mel Bragg
GD Sharni Lambden
GK Mary Livesay

NSW Waratahs
GS Matisse Letherbarrow
GA Laura Towell
WA Elle Bennetts
C Nicole Deegenaars
WD Sophie Halpin
GD Nicole Styles
GK Claire Iongi

 

Report: Lou Patton
Images: Ben Southall