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  • #994922
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY WINNERS

    1997 – MELBOURNE PHOENIX
    1998 – ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS
    1999 – ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS
    2000 – MELBOURNE PHOENIX
    2001 – SYDNEY SWIFTS
    2002 – MELBOURNE PHOENIX
    2003 – MELBOURNE PHOENIX
    2004 – SYDNEY SWIFTS
    2005 – MELBOURNE PHOENIX
    2006 – SYDNEY SWIFTS
    2007 – SYDNEY SWIFTS

    #994923
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    Raising the netball
    Linda Pearce
    26/10/1996
    The Sunday Age

    The National Netball League has hit some potholes on the road to its launch next April. Linda Pearce looks at the problems, and meets the man trying to provide some answers.

    IT’S a sunny spring morning outside a Carlton cafe and Paul McLean is taking it one coffee at a time. His hair is slicked smoothly back, the jacket of his Hugo Boss suit slung over an empty chair, a gold signet ring matches the pen peeping from his top pocket, and a Benson and Hedges burns in the ashtray.

    For a moment, the heavily British voice of the man whose brief it is to sell the most ambitious project in Australian netball history is silent. He has just been asked whether the establishment of the National Netball League, a project that has attracted controversy over everything from sponsorship delays to naming teams after different species of birds, has been harder than he had dreamed.

    “Sometimes when you forge new ground there’s unexpected geography that you have to deal with,” McLean says, eventually. “I don’t suppose when Tim McCartney-Snape climbed Everest that he ever really thought he was going to fail. But I tell you what, there were probably a few nights when he wished he wasn’t there, when he had cold feet. To have no self-doubt, you wouldn’t be human, would you?”

    Yet self-doubt is not a characteristic one would readily associate with McLean, the confident Oxford-educated son of a former newspaper publisher from the monied London suburb of Chelsea. McLean entered into a sports consultancy partnership with Sydney Olympic bid chief executive Rod McGeoch two years ago. In February-March he wrote the NNL business plan; his job now is to implement it.

    Which, so far, has not been such a simple task. A 30 September deadline for the announcement of a major sponsor was reportedly set, but none is now expected before Christmas. McLean protests that 30 September was merely a date by which levels of interest would be gauged. He says at least 14 companies are interested in offering various levels of support and the naming-rights deal is close to being signed.

    With less than six months until the first whistle, players and officials have been repeatedly frustrated by the lack of information from Netball Australia. “Management-wise, you’d have to be concerned, because you’re making decisions in the dark, constantly,” says Melbourne Kestrels coach Lisa Alexander. “That’s the trouble. We want to get on with things and we can’t.”

    In Brisbane, national captain Vicki Wilson has rejected the playing coach’s role at the Queensland Firebirds due to the local association’s demands on players. Uncertainty reigns. “Fringe players or players who have never been involved at that level are just going ahead with what they’d normally do over summer, whether it be playing touch footy or going to the beach or whatever. No programs have been put in place, no one knows anything. We don’t even know which players are interested. We haven’t got that far yet.”

    The decision to name teams after birds has also been coolly received, with one leading player branding the feathered theme “derogatory” and “appalling”. McLean, whose idea it was, responds: “Why birds? Why not?” Reminded that it is a colloquial and unflattering term for women, he continues: “Oh, you mean ‘she’s a good-looking bird’? That statement amazes me. It’s reading too much into it. Birds, women . . . what do they think we’re going to be promoting them as? Sex queens? This is schoolboy stuff. Just ridiculous.”

    Not even the timing of the league’s introduction – it replaces the two-month-long Mobil League that has run since the mid-1980s – has escaped unscathed. Netball Victoria executive director Russell Hopper believes the time was right three years ago. Alexander’s ideal would have been straight after Australia’s one-goal world championship win in Sydney in 1991.

    There are also suggestions of attempted sabotage. McLean claims to be aware of several Melbourne companies that have been approached by people he understands to have been associated with former Mobil League teams who are “pouring cold water” on the NNL. “I’m fed up to the back teeth,” he says. “These are people driven by self-interest without a perspective of what the league represents.”

    STILL, difficulties aside, there is genuine excitement over the prospect of a true national league at last. It all began last year when two sports management academics at Sydney’s University of Technology were commissioned to write a feasibility study with input from players and administrators.

    It was accepted in principle by Netball Australia, which had long been considering a full extended league but had been cautioned by a number of factors, including the teething problems experienced by women’s basketball. The second of its three-year contracts with Mobil was up, but the deals with ABC-TV and Optus Vision ran safely through until 1999. The time had come.

    An eight-team format – the AIS controversially out, a second Victorian team in – was retained, two full home-and-away rounds introduced and Sydney consultants McGeoch McLean given responsibility for all revenue and marketing. The National Netball League Pty Ltd took over all sponsorship and has allocated each team a first-year budget of $120,000. In order to broaden the support base, all existing club ties have been cut.

    “It’s been set up in order that netball can sustain itself and, importantly, own its product and exploit its own product,” says McLean. “The company’s been set up to generate revenue which ultimately can be put towards the running of the National Netball League and back into the grass roots of netball. So it’s the commercial arm of netball in Australia.

    “I think the basis of netball is very firmly ensconced in the sporting cultural traditions of Australia, and plays a very large part in the community. We’re looking to take the traditional values of netball and give them a contemporary flavor; put them into modern society. I think netball’s been left slightly behind the times. It does have a little bit of a dowdy image and part of our role is going to be to shed that skin and come forward into the ’90s.”

    But even when it arrives, who will watch it? How to make a participant sport appealing to spectators? How, basically, to get all those who play the game to actually buy a ticket?

    McLean says that although other sports have been modified to enhance their audience appeal, netball’s rules will remain intact for now. But he says it needs to become more commercially aggressive to ensure its survival, and sees a need for a more vibrant presentation, including better half-time entertainment, and a shorter break between double-header matches.

    Of course, it all gets back to the quality of the product, but there are also plans to create a data base, upgrade the netball magazine, market a registration card with discounts for members, beef up the promotion through the media and in local communities and cash in on women’s increasing power as consumer decision-makers.

    All of which sounds terrific, as does the expectation of a profit in 1997 and the development of alternative revenue sources such as merchandising and TV rights to reduce sponsorship from 90 to 20 per cent of total revenue within five years. But is the organisation, right now, where McLean would want it? “Is anybody ever? I think at the end of the day we’re as far down the track as I expected to be. I think it would be unreasonable to expect to be any further down the track in an organisational sense. It’s a massive, massive task.”

    And one on which little detail has been made available, even to the teams. It is a gripe McLean admits has some foundation, but one necessitated by an evolving product and Netball Australia’s desire to avoid confusion. Regardless, his and executive director Pam Smith’s appeal for patience is an indication of the troops’ unrest.

    Melbourne Phoenix coach Norma Plummer says her complaint about a lack of information is widely shared. Neither are her team’s name – chosen by Netball Victoria – nor the expected colors of black, orange and yellow, ideal. “But we have to make it work,” she says. “In the end we’ve got to forget all the hassles and our own personal dislikes because in the long term it will be the best netball for the best players.”

    If Smith says the most contentious point has been the move away from traditional club bases, then the league will also force the resolution of an issue that has been festering for some time: player remuneration. As netball is officially an amateur sport, match payments are not permitted, and all related earnings must be paid into a trust fund. National players receive a sports commission STEP grant of $2040 to cover time off work and training expenses, but the time is rapidly approaching when far more must be offered.

    Wilson, who is near the end of her career, believes netballers will eventually be paid, but it is still no more than “a dim light at the end of the tunnel”. She expects the NNL to force the issue, for not all players will be able to afford to take extra days off work without compensation.

    Hopper believes that it is inevitable. Probably sooner rather than later, which in netball terms is about five years. McLean says that is an issue for the teams rather than the league. He expects players to be paid, perhaps next year, and argues that they deserve to be. Smith stresses that it is an amateur sport, but is confident that will change.

    But back to more pressing matters. Should we, the public, be concerned about the establishment of the league? Are netball’s grand plan and it’s smartly dressed marketing frontman on track? Is it the right track?

    Alexander sums up the mood by admitting to both apprehension and excitement. “I think they’re taking a pretty pragmatic approach, that ‘we didn’t start it probably as early as what we maybe should have, so we’d better make sure it’s right’. And I’m just hoping with the lack of decision-making so far that the effort’s going into making sure that everything really is right.”

    WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE NATIONAL NETBALL LEAGUE:

    * There will be eight teams, each named after a bird: Adelaide Falcons, Adelaide Ravens, Melbourne Kestrels, Melbourne Phoenix, Perth Orioles, Queensland Firebirds, Sydney Eagles, Sydney Swifts.

    * The NNL will start on the weekend on 11-13 April, with the grand final to be played on 23 August at a venue to be determined. Matches will be scheduled for at least two and up to four venues each week and teams will meet each other twice. Melbourne’s first home games will be on Anzac weekend, 25-27 April.

    * Each team is expected to draw from a squad of 16, with 10 or 12 players to travel each weekend with three officials. Each player will be required to sign a joint NNL/team contract but there is not yet any provision for player payment other than limited expense reimbursement. Imports are not permitted.

    * The league is expected to cost $1 million to run in its first year, with more than 90 per cent of revenue coming initially through sponsorship. Each team will be provided with a budget of $120,000, including airfares, accommodation and uniform costs that will be paid directly by the NNL. The cash balance will be put towards training and transport costs, venue hire, etc.

    * ABC-TV and Optus Vision will cover games, although contractual details are still to be finalised. The first free-to-air timeslot targetted is from 4.30-6pm on Saturdays.

    * The National Netball League Pty Ltd will be run by 10 directors: the nine members of the Netball Australia board and marketing consultant Paul McLean. McGeoch McLean has signed a five-year contract with the option of a further five. Leanne Austin has been appointed Operations Manager.

    * More umpires will be needed, expanding the national pool to as many as 25.

    * Netball Victoria has appointed Bill Pewtress (Phoenix) and Bert Gaudion (Kestrels) as the independent chairmen of its two franchises for an interim period of 12 months. Local matches are expected to be played at the Glasshouse and the Waverley Netball Stadium.

    * Uniforms will be redesigned and supplied along with footwear if requested by those players without individual sponsorships by Asics Tiger. Team colors are yet to be ratified.

    #994924
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    1997 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    MAJOR SEMI-FINAL:
    Phoenix 58 v Thunderbirds 42

    MINOR SEMI-FINAL:
    Swifts 62 v Sandpipers 48

    (both semi-finals played in Sydney)

    PRELIM FINAL:
    Thunderbirds 65 v Swifts 39

    GRAND FINAL:

    PHOENIX 58 def THUNDERBIRDS 48
    (11-13, 26-25, 42-32, 58-48)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Benison
    C .. Dick
    WD . McKinnis
    GD . Taverner
    GK . Lynch

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Bryant GS (McMahon), Southby to GA
    4th Q – Howie C (Dick)

    Shooting stats:
    Unknown.

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Purser
    GA . Delaney
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    4th Q – Cobb WA (Hodge), Romeo GA (Purser), Delayney to GS

    Shooting stats:
    Unknown.

    Umpires: Maureen Boyle, Sharon Kelly

    #994925
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    1998 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Orioles 43 v Ravens 48
    Thunderbirds 46 v Phoenix 50
    Kestrels 53 v Swifts 62
    Sandpipers 61 v Firebirds 54

    Round 2
    Ravens 45 v Thunderbirds 52
    Sandpipers 53 v Kestrels 53
    Phoenix 57 v Swifts 51
    Firebirds 42 v Orioles 45

    Round 3
    Orioles 44 v Kestrels 57
    Swifts 64 v Sandpipers 41
    Thunderbirds 56 v Firebirds 51
    Phoenix 45 v Ravens 50

    Round 4
    Kestrels 54 v Thunderbirds 62
    Ravens 37 v Swifts 58
    Firebirds 40 v Phoenix 52
    Sandpipers 59 v Orioles 49

    Round 5
    Orioles 37 v Thunderbirds 65
    Swifts 53 v Firebirds 51
    Phoenix 65 v Sandpipers 54
    Ravens 58 v Kestrels 55

    Round 6
    Firebirds 33 v Ravens 71
    Thunderbirds 53 v Sandpipers 43
    Kestrels 56 v Phoenix 66
    Swifts 61 v Orioles 40

    Round 7
    Kestrels 57 v Firebirds 51
    Thunderbirds 58 v Swifts 53
    Sandpipers 55 v Ravens 52
    Orioles 44 v Phoenix 58

    Round 8
    Phoenix 54 v Thunderbirds 54
    Firebirds 62 v Sandpipers 47
    Swifts 70 v Kestrels 51
    Ravens 60 v Orioles 53

    Round 9
    Thunderbirds 59 v Ravens 45
    Kestrels 60 v Sandpipers 38
    Swifts 71 v Phoenix 53
    Orioles 47 v Firebirds 64

    Round 10
    Sandpipers 45 v Swifts 62
    Ravens 61 v Phoenix 63
    Kestrels 65 v Orioles 45
    Firebirds 35 v Thunderbirds 57

    Round 11
    Swifts 61 v Ravens 44
    Thunderbirds 47 v Kestrels 53
    Phoenix 80 v Firebirds 62
    Orioles 56 v Sandpipers 65

    Round 12
    Sandpipers 56 v Phoenix 61
    Firebirds 51 v Swifts 57
    Thunderbirds 69 v Orioles 32
    Kestrels 44 v Ravens 59

    Round 13
    Orioles 41 v Swifts 65
    Sandpipers 47 v Thunderbirds 67
    Phoenix 64 v Kestrels 56
    Ravens 70 v Firebirds 56

    Round 14
    Swifts 50 v Thunderbirds 54
    Ravens 78 v Sandpipers 51
    Phoenix 58 v Orioles 44
    Firebirds 46 v Kestrels 65

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .11 . . 2 . . 1 . . 799 . . 649 . . +150 . . 123.11 . . 23
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .11 . . 2 . . 1 . . 826 . . 745 . . .+81 . . 110.87 . . 23
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .11 . . 3 . . 0 . . 838 . . 676 . . +162 . . 123.96 . . 22
    RAVENS .. . . 14 . . 8 . . 6 . . 0 . . 778 . . 728 . . .+50 . . 106.87 . . 16

    —–
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 6 . . 7 . . 1 . . 787 . . 757 . . -165 . . 103.96 . . 13
    S’PIPERS. . . 14 . . 4 . . 9 . . 1 . . 715 . . 836 . . -121 . . .85.52 . . .8
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 2 . .12 . . 0 . . 698 . . 818 . . -120 . . .85.33 . . .4
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 1 . .13 . . 0 . . 620 . . 836 . . -216 . . .74.16 . . .2

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v PHOENIX
    Etsa Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 61-53

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Mogg
    GA . Delaney
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 33/44 75%, Mogg 28/36 78%, TOTAL 61/80 76%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Howie
    C .. Dick
    WD . McKinnis
    GD . Tavener
    GK . Illitch

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    TOTAL 53/59 90%

    Umpires: Maureen Boyle, Janelle Derrington

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – SWIFTS v RAVENS
    State Sports Centre, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 52-49

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Morgan
    GA . Cox
    WA . Wagg
    C .. Miller
    WD . Gilmour
    GD . Williams
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Unknown.

    RAVENS:
    GS . Borlase
    GA . Colbeck
    WA . Cobb
    C .. Grant
    WD . Henderson
    GD . Browning
    GK . Tucker

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Borlase 38/??, Colbeck 11/??

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Jan Cross

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – PHOENIX v SWIFTS
    Sports & Aquatic Centre, Melbourne

    SWIFTS WON 62-48

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Howie
    C .. Dick
    WD . McKinnis
    GD . Illitch
    GK . Harrison

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Unknown.

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Morgan
    GA . Cox
    WA . Wagg
    C .. Miller
    WD . Gilmour
    GD . Williams
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Morgan 45/49 92%, Cox 17/22 77%, TOTAL 62/71 84%

    Umpires: Maureen Boyle, Sharon Kelly

    .

    GRAND FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v SWIFTS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 48-42
    (12-10, 25-20, 39-29, 48-42)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Mogg
    GA . Delaney
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    None.

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 32/45 71%, Mogg 16/22 73%, TOTAL 48/67 72%

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Morgan
    GA . Cox
    WA . Wagg
    C .. Miller
    WD . Gilmour
    GD . Williams
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    4th Q – Stewart GS (Morgan), Saywell C (Miller).

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 20/28 71%, Morgan 19/27 71%, Stewart 3/5 60%, TOTAL 42/60 70%

    Umpires: Maureen Boyle, Sharon Kelly

    Swifts lift to party despite tight loss
    HEATHER QUINLAN
    Sun Herald

    FOR a team that had just lost the National Netball League grand final, the Sydney Swifts were in remarkably fine form as they partied at their Adelaide hotel on Friday night.

    They’re a happy bunch at the best of times, but even in the worst, they could see the brighter side of their 48-42 loss to the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

    “We’re not slitting our wrists,” said Sydney coach Julie Fitzgerald, “We’ve got no need to. It’s been a good year.”

    Indeed it has. The Swifts finished in third place on the Commonwealth Bank Trophy ladder with a 11-3 record, won their semi-final and preliminary final over the Adelaide Ravens and 1997 premiers Melbourne Phoenix, and in their first NNL grand final, were not quite up to the Thunderbirds’ brilliant standards.

    But they were close – and that’s more than can be said of their performances against the Thunderbirds a year ago.

    “Last year we were getting beaten by 35 goals by the Thunderbirds – when we played them we had this hopeless feeling, that we could never get near them,” Fitzgerald said.

    “Now we’re right there. We know exactly what we’re doing wrong.

    “We were very nervous and tentative in the first half and we were put off by the Adelaide crowd, there’s no doubt about that.

    “It was our inexperience at not having played in a grand final before, particularly for our younger players, that hurt us the most.

    “But I do believe we’ve come on enormously this year. I also think we’ve got a long way to go.”

    Fitzgerald said she and her players had plenty to be pleased about, if the whole season was taken into perspective.

    The Swifts became a fitter, stronger and more mentally tough side in 1998, playing with greater consistency throughout the four quarters of every game.

    They also developed into a “team of 10 players”, according to Fitzgerald. “Not too many sides have players on the bench that can be brought into a game and you don’t lose anything from it,” she said.

    Unsurprisingly, Fitzgerald nominated Australian representative goal keeper Liz Ellis as the Swifts’ outstanding performer of the season. Younger team members, wing defence Raegan Gilmour and goal defence Alison Williams, also earned praise.

    Adelaide keeper Sarah Sutter was a deserving winner of the player-of-the-match award for her excellent work disrupting the flow of balls into the goal circle.

    With defender Kathryn Harby and wing defence Peta Squire, Sutter put enormous pressure on the Swifts’ attack.

    The Thunderbirds took advantage of the loose ball opportunities and were able to set up victory with a 14-9 third quarter, which gave them a 10-goal lead going into the final period.

    #994926
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    1999 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Thunderbirds 58 v Firebirds 48
    Orioles 36 v Ravens 59
    Swifts 59 v Kestrels 45
    Sandpipers 58 v Phoenix 52

    Round 2
    Sandpipers 44 v Swifts 54
    Firebirds 58 v Orioles 42
    Ravens 57 v Phoenix 49
    Kestrels 48 v Thunderbirds 47

    Round 3
    Swifts 49 v Ravens 53
    Firebirds 48 v Kestrels 50
    Phoenix 57 v Orioles 49
    Thunderbirds 63 v Sandpipers 41

    Round 4
    Ravens 40 v Thunderbirds 51
    Orioles 53 v Swifts 72
    Phoenix 65 v Firebirds 56
    Sandpipers 44 v Kestrels 55

    Round 5
    Swifts 61 v Phoenix 51
    Firebirds 47 v Sandpipers 54
    Thunderbirds 74 v Orioles 25
    Kestrels 62 v Ravens 58

    Round 6
    Phoenix 60 v Thunderbirds 56
    Orioles 42 v Kestrels 46
    Swifts 61 v Firebirds 51
    Ravens 53 v Sandpipers 51

    Round 7
    Sandpipers 63 v Orioles 45
    Kestrels 74 v Phoenix 57
    Thunderbirds 57 v Swifts 45
    Firebirds 49 v Ravens 55

    Round 8
    Phoenix 58 v Ravens 52
    Swifts 71 v Sandpipers 46
    Thunderbirds 52 v Kestrels 44
    Orioles 42 v Firebirds 40

    Round 9
    Sanpipers 47 v Thunderbirds 58
    Kestrels 66 v Firebirds 49
    Ravens 56 v Swifts 60
    Orioles 58 v Phoenix 47

    Round 10
    Firebirds 33 v Thunderbirds 77
    Ravens 63 v Orioles 34
    Kestrels 47 v Swifts 57
    Sandpipers 56 v Phoenix 59

    Round 11
    Thunderbirds 49 v Ravens 49
    Kestrels 64 v Sandpipers 52
    Firebirds 61 v Phoenix 73
    Swifts 54 v Orioles 42

    Round 12
    Phoenix 59 v Swifts 70
    Sandpipers 59 v Firebirds 65
    Orioles 33 v Thunderbirds 70
    Ravens 58 v Kestrels 51

    Round 13
    Thunderbirds 79 v Phoenix 43
    Kestrels 56 v Orioles 37
    Sandpipers 56 v Ravens 61
    Firebirds 43 v Swifts 62

    Round 14
    Swifts 38 v Thunderbirds 63
    Phoenix 59 v Kestrels 62
    Orioles 47 v Sandpipers 46
    Ravens 61 v Firebirds 58

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .11 . . 2 . . 1 . . 854 . . 594 . . +260 . . 143.77 . . 23
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .11 . . 3 . . 0 . . 813 . . 710 . . +103 . . 114.51 . . 22
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . .10 . . 4 . . 0 . . 770 . . 719 . . .+51 . . 107.09 . . 20
    RAVENS .. . . 14 . . 9 . . 4 . . 1 . . 775 . . 713 . . .+62 . . 108.70 . . 19

    —–
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . . 6 . . 8 . . 0 . . 789 . . 849 . . .-60 . . .92.93 . . 12
    S’PIPERS. . . 14 . . 3 . .11 . . 0 . . 717 . . 794 . . .-77 . . .90.30 . . .6
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 3 . .11 . . 0 . . 585 . . 805 . . -220 . . .72.67 . . .6
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 2 . .12 . . 0 . . 706 . . 825 . . -119 . . .85.58 . . .4

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v SWIFTS
    State Sports Centre, Sydney

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 54-36

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Mogg
    GA . Delaney
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 30/45 67%, Mogg 24/31 77%, TOTAL 54/76 71%

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Adamson
    WA . Wagg
    C .. Miller
    WD . Gilmour
    GD . Williams
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 21/??, Adamson 15/??

    Umpires: Janelle Derrington, Nola Calnon

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – RAVENS v KESTRELS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    RAVENS WON 61-53

    RAVENS:
    GS . Huppatz
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Cobb
    C .. Grant
    WD . Gardner
    GD . den Dekker
    GK . Tucker

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Anderson 39/??, Huppatz 22/??

    KESTRELS:
    GS . Borlase
    GA . Teare
    WA . O’Donnell
    C .. Richardson
    WD . Vivian
    GD . Illitch
    GK . Meade

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Borlase 33/??, Teare 13/??, ???

    Umpires: Maureen Boyle, Jan Cross

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – SWIFTS v RAVENS
    State Sports Centre, Sydney

    RAVENS WON 56-54

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Adamson
    WA . Wagg
    C .. Miller
    WD . Gilsenen
    GD . Gilmour
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Unknown.

    RAVENS:
    GS . Huppatz
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Cobb
    C .. Grant
    WD . Gardner
    GD . den Dekker
    GK . Tucker

    Changes:
    Unknown.

    Shooting stats:
    Unknown.

    Umpires: Maureen Boyle, Jan Cross

    .

    GRAND FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v RAVENS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 62-30
    (18-6, 30-13, 44-26, 62-30)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Mogg
    GA . Delaney
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    During 4th Q – Sloane GS (Mogg), Colbeck GA (Delaney), Neale C (Sanders).

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 38/45 84%, Mogg 17/20 85%, Colbeck 4/5 80%, Sloane 3/4 75%, TOTAL 62/74 84%

    RAVENS:
    GS . Huppatz
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Cobb
    C .. Grant
    WD . Gardner
    GD . den Dekker
    GK . Tucker

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Anderson 17/30 57%, Huppatz 13/24 54%, TOTAL 30/54 56%

    Umpires: Maureen Boyle, Jan Cross

    First goal is getting a derby ticket
    LINDA PEARCE
    The Age

    There are two places where netball really matters: New Zealand and Adelaide. Hence the situation, difficult to imagine elsewhere, of a community protest in Adelaide when tickets for tonight’s grand final sold out in just eight minutes.

    The match is a local derby between the high-profile, defending champion Adelaide Thunderbirds, and the improved, coming-from-fourth-and-on-a-roll Ravens. The match will be played at the 3100-seat netball venue rather than switched to the 8000-capacity basketball stadium, and several days of controversy – including a radio station campaign, and formal complaints from T-Birds Kath Harby and Sarah Sutter – have resulted.

    But the Netball Australia decision stands, and the fact also remains that the Commonwealth Bank Trophy will stay in Adelaide for another year. Whether it returns to the Thunderbirds’ cabinet or is claimed by the Ravens shall be seen tonight. The Ravens are yet to beat their hometown rivals in six tries, although this seventh encounter will be spiced by the round 11 draw, 49-all, when last they met. We can walk taller in Adelaide,” Ravens coach Pat Mickan said afterwards. “They have been the definite underdogs in this state.”

    Indeed, the Thunderbirds are preparing for their third grand final in the national league’s three seasons, with the benefit of a week’s rest after defeating the Sydney Swifts in the major semi-final, and they are packed with Australian players including Harby, centre Rebecca Sanders and prolific shooter Jacqui Delaney.

    The Ravens, although lacking some of their opponents’ star qualities, have been boosted by the return of champion defender Michelle Den Dekker from Queensland and the recruitment of a trimmed-down and much-improved goal attack Megan Anderson from Sydney.

    Significantly, they have not lost a match since June and are fresh from sudden-death finals wins over the Melbourne Kestrels and, narrowly, the Swifts. “Upmarket streetfighters”, Mickan calls her players, citing a depth of character and fierce will to win evident in their regular ability to withstand late changes of momentum in tightly fought games.

    Still, it is hard to go past the Thunderbirds, with their supreme confidence, settled defence complemented by wing Peta Squire, pacy midcourt including Sanders and Delaney up front.

    High-flying T-birds set to continue
    Illawarra Mercury

    The Adelaide Thunderbirds holding aloft the Commonwealth Bank Trophy is a scene that appears certain to be repeated for years to come.

    The T-birds followed the lead of neighbouring AFL team the Adelaide Crows and the men’s and women’s basketball sides the 36ers and Lightning by claiming back-to-back national titles with a crushing 62-30 grand final win over hometown rivals the Adelaide Ravens on Friday night.

    Thunderbirds coach Marg Angove described it as the best display of netball she had ever seen.

    And the seemingly unstoppable T-birds unit looks destined to continue its dominance.

    Angove has another year of her contract to run.

    One goal reached, sharpshooter Delaney sets her sights on glory at world titles
    CHARLOTTE HARPER
    Sydney Morning Herald

    Jacqui Delaney has been playing for three prizes in 1999. After her national league side’s 62-30 grand final victory on Friday night, it’s one down, two to go.

    Delaney, the Australian and Adelaide Thunderbirds’ goal attack, led the defending champions against the Adelaide Ravens, shooting 38 goals from 45 attempts, an 84 per cent success rate.

    “I thought it would be a tougher game,” Delaney said. “Last time [when the Thunderbirds drew with the Ravens] we didn’t have one player who won their position.”

    Performances like the one on Friday have seen Delaney rise to the top three in the player-of-the-year stakes: potential win No 2.

    The third target? The greatest prize of all: playing for Australia as they win their eighth world title in Christchurch in October. If Australia play as well as the Thunderbirds have in this year’s Commonwealth Bank Trophy competition, they’ll romp it in.

    On Friday night, Delaney’s main rival for player of the year, Ravens goal attack Megan Anderson, missed her shots time and again. She was marked out of the action and her success rate was only 57 per cent.

    Sydney Swifts goal keeper Liz Ellis and Delaney were only a few points behind Anderson when the player-of-the-year points were last made public. Ellis has had a week less to earn points, so Delaney is the new favourite.

    “I haven’t really thought about it that much,” she said. She’s equally humble when it comes to playing for her country.

    “I don’t think I’ve expected to start in the Australian team,” she said. “I’ll just be happy to be playing at all.”

    The South Australian shares the national goal attack position with Sharelle McMahon, whose Melbourne Phoenix missed out on the national league finals. McMahon’s national league goal percentage was 83, while Delaney’s, before the finals, was 78.

    Thunderbirds coach Marg Angove described Friday night’s win as the best team performance she’d ever seen. Even in the period late in the final quarter when Angove replaced her top players, the Thunderbirds still came out on top by several goals.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever been taken off in a game before,” Delaney said. But under the circumstances she was “quite happy” to give the others a go.

    With four members of the Thunderbirds to play for Australia, national coach Jill McIntosh will be feeling positive about her world title defence.

    The Australian team heads to Brisbane on Friday for a series of matches against the Netball Australia President’s 12. Melbourne Kestrels centre Nicole Richardson, who played her first game for Australia earlier in the year, will lead the second Australian side. She will be joined by other former national representatives including Cath Cox (Swifts), Alex Hodge (Thunderbirds) and Joanne Morgan (Sandpipers).

    The combination will provide the world’s top team with the toughest competition it will meet before a likely October 2 grand final clash with New Zealand at the world championships.

    The President’s 12 games will also give youngsters like Sandpipers defender Mo’onia Gerrard the opportunity to show national selectors what they can do. The Australian squad for 2000 will be named in October, after the world championships.

    “Most of the girls are just a hair away from getting into the team,” Delaney said. “Everyone’s still watching them.”

    The national side will play a further two training matches this month, against Victoria in Melbourne and NSW in Sydney, before final training sessions in Melbourne in mid-September. The world championships start on September 21.

    #994937
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2000 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Firebirds 43 v Phoenix 66
    Ravens 49 v Swifts 63
    Orioles 46 v Kestrels 44
    Sandpipers 33 Thunderbirds 57

    Round 2
    Thunderbirds 57 v Orioles 21
    Firebirds 35 v Swifts 66
    Sandpipers 72 v Ravens 44
    Phoenix 57 v Kestrels 42

    Round 3
    Kestrels 48 v Sandpipers 52
    Swifts 55 v Phoenix 51
    Thunderbirds 65 v Firebirds 29
    Orioles 63 v Ravens 47

    Round 4
    Sandpipers 67 v Orioles 46
    Ravens 52 v Phoenix 70
    Swifts 44 v Thunderbirds 46
    Kestrels 64 v Firebirds 40

    Round 5
    Phoenix 58 v Thunderbirds 56
    Firebirds 62 v Orioles 53
    Sandpipers 54 v Swifts 56
    Ravens 37 v Kestrels 65

    Round 6
    Firebirds 59 v Ravens 50
    Swifts 51 v Orioles 66
    Thunderbirds 67 v Kestrels 40
    Phoenix 67 v Sandpipers 67

    Round 7
    Kestrels 51 v Swifts 42
    Sandpipers 66 v Firebirds 46
    Ravens 36 v Thunderbirds 67
    Orioles 42 v Phoenix 57

    Round 8
    Thunderbirds 63 v Sandpipers 41
    Swifts 71 v Ravens 45
    Kestrels 56 v Orioles 47
    Phoenix 69 v Firebirds 46

    Round 9
    Ravens 52 v Sandpipers 73
    Kestrels 50 v Phoenix 56
    Orioles 35 v Thunderbirds 61
    Swifts 62 v Firebirds 44

    Round 10
    Sandpipers 63 v Kestrels 56
    Ravens 59 v Orioles 66
    Firebirds 42 v Thunderbirds 59
    Phoenix 52 v Swifts 56

    Round 11
    Thunderbirds 38 v Phoenix 75
    Orioles 60 v Firebirds 51
    Swifts 61 v Sandpipers 62
    Kestrels 67 v Ravens 48

    Round 12
    Firebirds 41 v Kestrels 54
    Thunderbirds 47 v Swifts 46
    Orioles 58 v Sandpipers 68
    Phoenix 70 v Ravens 51

    Round 13
    Sandpipers 66 v Phoenix 73
    Kestrels 42 v Thunderbirds 47
    Orioles 46 v Swifts 58
    Ravens 57 v Firebirds 57

    Round 14
    Swifts 60 v Kestrels 35
    Thunderbirds 67 v Ravens 36
    Firebirds 45 v Sandpipers 50
    Phoenix 65 v Orioles 57

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 797 . . 588 . . +209 . . 135.54 . . 24
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .11 . . 2 . . 1 . . 886 . . 721 . . +165 . . 122.88 . . 23
    S’PIPERS. . . 14 . . 9 . . 4 . . 1 . . 835 . . 772 . . .+63 . . 108.76 . . 19
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . . 9 . . 5 . . 0 . . 791 . . 683 . . +108 . . 115.81 . . 18

    —–
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 6 . . 8 . . 0 . . 714 . . 703 . . .+11 . . 101.56 . . 12
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 5 . . 9 . . 0 . . 706 . . 803 . . .-97 . . .87.92 . . 10
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 2 . .11 . . 1 . . 640 . . 841 . . -201 . . .76.10 . . .5
    RAVENS .. . . 14 . . 0 . .13 . . 1 . . 663 . . 934 . . -271 . . .70.99 . . .1

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v PHOENIX
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    PHOENIX WON 61-52
    (13-17, 29-30, 38-47, 52-61)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Mogg
    GA . Colbeck
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Mogg 28/41 68%, Colbeck 24/30 80%, TOTAL 52/71 73%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . McMahon
    GA . Southby
    WA . Meaney
    C .. Vennus
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Taverner
    GK . Browning

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 45/48 94%, Southby 16/20 80%, TOTAL 61/68 90%

    Umpires: Kate Wright, Annette Smith

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – SANDPIPERS v SWIFTS
    Penrith Sports Stadium

    SWIFTS WON 64-58
    (15-20, 29-37, 44-48, 58-64)

    SANDPIPERS:
    GS . Morgan
    GA . Avellino
    WA . Cramsie
    C .. McCaffrey
    WD . McMahon
    GD . Harvey
    GK . Neville

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Morgan 43/53 81%, Avellino 15/19 78%, TOTAL 58/77 80%

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Sloane
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Adamson
    C .. Jackson
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Williams
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Sloane 34/44 77%, Anderson 30/35 85%, TOTAL 64/79 81%

    Umpires: Stacey Campton, Nola Calnon

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v SWIFTS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 51-49 (extra time)
    (13-13, 22-20, 34-29, 43-43 / 51-49)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Mogg
    GA . Colbeck
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Mogg 27/41 66%, Roberts 15/24 63%, Colbeck 9/13 69%, TOTAL 51/78 65%

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Sloane
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Adamson
    C .. Jackson
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Williams
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Anderson 28/40 70%, Sloane 16/23 69%, Adamson 5/10 50%, TOTAL 49/73 67%

    Umpires: Prue Plummer, Kate Wright

    .

    GRAND FINAL – PHOENIX v THUNDERBIRDS
    The Glasshouse, Melbourne

    PHOENIX WON 52-51
    (13-18, 25-30, 39-40, 52-51)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . McMahon
    GA . Southby
    WA . Meaney
    C .. Dick
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Taverner
    GK . Browning

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Chatfield GK (Browning).

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 32/35 91%, Southby 20/26 77%, TOTAL 52/61 85%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Colbeck
    GA . Roberts
    WA . Hodge
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Altschwager GA (Roberts).
    4th Q – Roberts GA (Altschwager).

    Shooting stats:
    Colbeck 33/40 83%, Roberts 14/20 70%, Altschwager 4/6 67%, TOTAL 51/66 77%

    Player Of The Match: Sharelle McMahon

    Umpires: Prue Plummer, Kate Wright

    Crowd: 5 700

    Phoenix to steal T-Birds’ thunder
    TED SIMMONS

    IF confidence is a winner, then Melbourne Phoenix are poised to complete a 4-0 unbeaten sweep over the defending champions Adelaide Thunderbirds in the national netball league grand final tonight. `We’ve already beaten them three times this season, and if we have to make it four to win the Cup, then we’ll do it,’ Melbourne coach Joyce Brown said.

    Adelaide, winners of the past two netball titles, meet Phoenix, who won the first championship in 1997, at the Melbourne Glasshouse. Both sides are at full strength but Phoenix hold the confidence advantage after their resounding wins this season.

    Finals form matters and to beat the T-Birds by nine in the major semi-final is a good statement of where we are,’ Brown said. It’s also a great advantage to have shooters Sharelle McMahon and Eloise Southby in form as well as a boost to the team.

    Co-captain Liz Taverner also adds great experience in defence. In fact, it’s a pretty solid team all the way down.’ That is not the type of news that Adelaide coach Marg Angove wants to hear.

    Angove has already stated it is almost impossible to stop McMahon, and the T-Birds will have to improve their accuracy to record three consecutive titles. `Errors have caught up with us in the past few weeks but we’ve exceeded expectations in getting to the grand final after the loss of international Jacqui Delaney,’ she said.

    ‘We’ve been in every grand final but the Phoenix will have extra confidence with their wins this season. Adelaide has never been the most accurate side in the league but we get more shots. Our shooters Cassie Mogg and Anna Coldbeck have worked so hard to get moves going, and we just have to find a way to cut down the opportunities for McMahon and Southby.’

    Thunderbirds defenders Kathryn Harby and Sarah Sutter will again have to be on song to stop McMahon, who is the second-highest scorer in the league behind Joanne Morgan. She has an average of 83% for the season and has scored 40, 50 and 45 against Adelaide.

    McMahon also plays a key role in stopping Angove’s hopes of equalling the record of Adelaide basketball coach Jan Stirling, who guided Adelaide Lightning to a hat-trick of wins in the Women’s National Basketball League.

    In what should a close struggle, Australian coach Jill McIntosh predicts Phoenix will go all the way. However, the Sydney Swifts’ Julie Fitzgerald says Adelaide are used to winning and have the winning mentality.

    #994948
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2001 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Phoenix 50 v Swifts 42
    Sandpipers 63 v Kestrels 52
    Thunderbirds 49 v Ravens 45
    Firebirds 43 v Orioles 51

    Round 2
    Swifts 58 v Sandpipers 45
    Orioles 45 v Thunderbirds 53
    Kestrels 49 v Firebirds 52
    Ravens 54 v Phoenix 69

    Round 3
    Sandpipers 55 v Orioles 42
    Firebirds 38 v Ravens 52
    Thunderbirds 54 v Swifts 40
    Phoenix 52 v Kestrels 48

    Round 4
    Kestrels 32 v Thunderbirds 61
    Swifts 62 v Firebirds 34
    Ravens 55 v Sandpipers 72
    Orioles 41 v Phoenix 58

    Round 5
    Phoenix 63 v Firebirds 40
    Orioles 44 v Ravens 58
    Thunderbirds 76 v Sandpipers 54
    Swifts 61 v Kestrels 43

    Round 6
    Sandpipers 54 v Phoenix 58
    Kestrels 54 v Orioles 43
    Ravens 37 v Swifts 49
    Firebirds 36 v Thunderbirds 68

    Round 7
    Phoenix 41 v Thunderbirds 57
    Ravens 47 v Kestrels 48
    Sandpipers 62 v Firebirds 39
    Orioles 41 v Swifts 54

    Round 8
    Swifts 46 v Phoenix 51
    Kestrels 54 v Sandpipers 60
    Ravens 39 v Thunderbirds 63
    Orioles 55 v Firebirds 45

    Round 9
    Sandpipers 45 v Swifts 67
    Thunderbirds 70 v Orioles 44
    Firebirds 42 v Kestrels 64
    Phoenix 73 v Ravens 47

    Round 10
    Swifts 51 v Thunderbirds 47
    Ravens 61 v Firebirds 34
    Kestrels 50 v Phoenix 49
    Orioles 51 v Sandpipers 63

    Round 11
    Thunderbirds 68 v Kestrels 47
    Sandpipers 65 v Ravens 56
    Firebirds 23 v Swifts 65
    Phoenix 66 v Orioles 44

    Round 12
    Ravens 59 v Orioles 47
    Firebirds 48 v Phoenix 60
    Sandpipers 67 v Thunderbirds 51
    Kestrels 40 v Swifts 69

    Round 13
    Thunderbirds 67 v Firebirds 35
    Phoenix 62 v Sandpipers 48
    Swifts 75 v Ravens 47
    Orioles 56 v Kestrels 48

    Round 14
    Thunderbirds 63 v Phoenix 45
    Swifts 70 v Orioles 37
    Firebirds 45 v Sandpipers 63
    Kestrels 57 v Ravens 52

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 847 . . 621 . . +226 . . 136.39 . . 24
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .11 . . 3 . . 0 . . 809 . . 594 . . +215 . . 136.20 . . 22
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .11 . . 3 . . 0 . . 797 . . 682 . . +115 . . 116.86 . . 22
    S’PIPERS. . . 14 . . 9 . . 5 . . 0 . . 816 . . 767 . . .+49 . . 106.39 . . 18

    —–
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 5 . . 9 . . 0 . . 689 . . 775 . . .-86 . . .88.90 . . 10
    RAVENS .. . . 14 . . 4 . .10 . . 0 . . 709 . . 783 . . .-74 . . .90.55 . . .8
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 3 . .11 . . 0 . . 647 . . 796 . . -149 . . .81.28 . . .6
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 1 . .12 . . 0 . . 555 . . 842 . . -287 . . .65.91 . . .2

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v SWIFTS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    SWIFTS WON 63-59 (extra time)

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – PHOENIX v SANDPIPERS
    State Netball Hockey Centre, Melbourne

    PHOENIX WON 75-48

    Phoenix (McMahon 48, Southby 27)
    Sandpipers (Morgan 24, Avellino 22, Doyle 2)

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v PHOENIX
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 57-40
    (12-11, 24-21, 38-31, 57-40)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Martin
    GA . Delaney
    WA . N.von Bertouch
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    None

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 41/53 77%, Martin 16/23 70%, TOTAL 57/76 75%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . McMahon
    GA . Southby
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Chatfield
    GK . Taverner

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Taverner to GD, Chatfield to GK.
    4th Q – Vennus C (Jacobsen), Meaney to WA.

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 21/26 81%, Southby 19/21 90%, TOTAL 40/47 85%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard

    .

    GRAND FINAL – SWIFTS v THUNDERBIRDS
    State Sports Centre, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 57-32
    (13-13, 26-20, 44-25, 57-32)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Anderson
    GA . Altschwager
    WA . Akle
    C .. Jackson
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Williams
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    4th Q – Sloane GS (Altschwager), Anderson to GA.

    Shooting stats:
    Anderson 28/35 77%, Altschwager 27/32 84%, Sloane 2/2 100%, TOTAL 57/69 83%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Martin
    GA . Delaney
    WA . N.von Bertouch
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby
    GK . Sutter

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Colbeck GS (Martin).
    4th Q – Roberts GA (Delaney).

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 20/33 61%, Colbeck 7/10 70%, Roberts 3/6 50%, Martin 2/5 40%, TOTAL 32/54 59%

    Player Of The Match: Liz Ellis

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard

    Ellis takes a swift ride to the top
    LINDA PEARCE
    The Age

    Anyone who tunes in for the replay of tonight’s national netball grand final might recognise the familiar figure in the colors of the Sydney Swifts.

    They might have seen the Sportsworld program on Sunday mornings, or caught an episode of The Fat one Monday night. Perhaps they have heard her voice on Triple J over the past three years, or watched the enthusiastic newcomer reading the autocue on the overnight shift of C7’s Olympic coverage.

    In other sports, such a bulging media schedule is as common as a Sam Newman excuse to get his gear off. But this is netball, where Anne Sargeant, who retired in the 1980s, is still almost as close as it gets to a household name. Thus the transformation of Liz Ellis, sportswoman, into Liz Ellis, very visible multi-media personality, is all the more unusual.

    People who see the grand final will probably think, What’s she doing playing netball?” Ellis said jokingly this week.They probably won’t recognise me because I haven’t been in make-up for an hour.”

    And her Swifts and Australian teammates? What do they think of all this newfound celebrity, which will soon include co-hosting a new Channel10 health and lifestyle series with George Gregan, Shane Heal, Brett and Shane Lee? They just think I’ve got far too much to say for myself sometimes.” Are they right? Oh, yeah. God, yeah.”

    Since 1993, the 183-centimetre Ellis has been the first-choice Australian goal keeper, a key member of the 1995 and 1999 world championship teams, and a gold medallist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. She has also led the Swifts’ defence since the competition began in 1997, and twice won the netballer-of-the-year award.

    Off the court, too, all seemed in place. But although Ellis practised as a solicitor for four years, she soon discovered that the life of a lawyer was not the glamorous fight for truth and justice against evil that she had imagined. Nor did the long hours always fit in with her training commitments. And so the genesis for her career change came about three years ago when she met TripleJ drive host Adam Spencer during an appearance on the ABC’s Good News Week.

    That eventually led to a regular breakfast radio slot, while a chance at television arrived a few months after sitting next to Channel Seven executive Andy Kay at a netball dinner. I told him I didn’t want to practise law any more and that if they had anything, I’d be interested,” Ellis said. Then midway through last year he just rang me out of the blue and said, `Come in and read off the autocue and see if you want to be involved in the Olympic coverage’.”

    Right place, right time, or something more? Of all Australia’s elite netballers, why Ellis? I don’t know,” she cackles. I think I just prostituted myself around so much that it eventually paid off!”

    More seriously, Ellis also recognises the importance of timing, and of netball’s growing profile and professionalism. In the mid-90s, the grand total of the Ellis sponsorship stash was $2000 worth of footwear and clothing. Now she has a handful of sponsors, both personally and for her business running school holiday netball clinics, is a regular after-dinner speaker, government taskforce member, promotions consultant, and makes what she calls a quite comfortable” living through all of this plus her growing media work.

    For netball alone, which includes the national league and various international series, Ellis receives $9000 in match payments and allowances. It does not need a calculator to determine that ball skills alone are what have enabled the forthright 28-year-old to help buy the unit with views of Manly beach she shares with her husband of two years, Matthew Stocks. Indeed, Australia-wide, only Kathryn Harby-Williams shares the luxury of being a full-time netballer.

    So, fittingly, the Adelaide-based national captain and her outspoken deputy will be opposing captains in the showpiece domestic game of the year, tonight at Sydney’s State Sports Centre. The star-studded Thunderbirds, who have never missed a grand final, won the first 13 matches between the teams, but the Swifts have won the past two, and this year earned the important home-court advantage through an overtime semi-final win in Adelaide.

    As much as the team is what counts, it is also personal for Ellis, who has won everything else there is to win. Except this. It’s been gnawing at me for years,” she said. Every year you sort of console yourself and say, `Next year, next year’, but I’d love not to have to say that at the end of this season.”

    Certainly, a victory speech would be far preferable. And if, by some chance, Liz Ellis is stuck for a word, it will surely be for the first time.

    COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY GRAND FINAL

    Sydney Swifts v Adelaide Thunderbirds
    State Sports Centre, Sydney, 8pm tonight

    TV: ABC replay tomorrow, 5pm
    Head to head: Swifts 2, Thunderbirds 13
    Last five meetings: Swifts 2, Thunderbirds 3
    Last time: Swifts 63 d Thunderbirds 59 (in overtime in the major semi-final in Adelaide
    two weeks ago)

    Coaches: Julie Fitzgerald (Swifts), Marg Angove (Thunderbirds)

    Swift justice: the title is ours
    Jessica Halloran and Michael Bradley
    Sydney Morning Herald

    The sweetness of a premiership was something the Sydney Swifts had not tasted until last night.

    The Swifts denied the Adelaide Thunderbirds their third premiership and humiliated them in the process, 57-32.

    As the final whistle was blown, the Swifts’ ecstasy was clear the National Netball League trophy was finally coming to Sydney.

    The Swifts had played in every finals series yet had never tasted title glory.

    If you want something bad enough, the universe has to give it to you eventually,” Swifts captain and player of the grand final Liz Ellis said.

    Even she was surprised by the huge margin. I thought it would be a one- or two-goal affair but we were so determined and wanted it so badly. It might have looked easy from the sideline but in the third quarter we were really sucking in the deep breaths.”

    The loss left Adelaide Thunderbirds coach Marg Angove shattered.

    Whatever we tried, it just didn’t work. They were very focused and they played the game very positively, and apart from the first quarter we were hardly ever in it,” she said.

    The Swifts shed tears of joy as they celebrated their historic win.

    An emotional Ellis was held aloft by her fellow goal defender Alison Broadbent to cut the net from the ring she had waited so long to do this.

    It’s fantastic, it’s been an unbelievable year,” Swifts goal attack Jane Altschwager said.

    It was an even first quarter, although the Swifts struggled to deliver the ball smoothly to their goalers.

    However, Altschwager dominated the goal square, shooting 10 goals from 11 attempts in the quarter as Raegan Jackson and Briony Akle delivered the ball smoothly to the 192cm shooter.

    Ellis and Broadbent combined to form a tough defence in a game that produced some feisty encounters with the Thunderbirds goalers.

    The second quarter saw the Thunderbirds midcourt initially out-muscle the Swifts, who were having trouble feeding the ball to their goal circle.

    Thunderbirds centre Rebecca Sanders and wing attack Alex Hodge were efficient in their delivery to Thunderbirds goaler Jacqui Delaney.

    Yet, with seven minutes to go, the momentum swung the Swifts’ way and the Sydneysiders went out to a six-goal break. They were not headed. The precise shooting of Altschwager was a major contributing factor, as she shot six goals from eight attempts.

    Angove swapped her goal shooters in the third quarter. Cassie Martin, silenced by Ellis, was sent to the bench and Anna Coldbeck debuted in an attempt to lift the visitors. It failed to ruffle the Swifts’ defensive combination as the Thunderbirds’ goal efficiency slipped to 42per cent.

    Some roughing-up of Altschwager by Kathryn Harby did little to unsettle the Swift, who continued her dominance of the goal ring. Megan Anderson found the ball more easily and her accuracy increased.

    Thunderbirds goal attack Delaney was dragged in the final quarter, with Jacqui Roberts coming on, but it was no use. It became a goal-fest for the Swifts as they finished off the Thunderbirds easily.

    Altschwager shot 29 goals for the game and Anderson 26.

    The premiership is a fitting finale to a stellar year for the Swifts.

    After a slow start with a loss to 2000 premiers Melbourne Phoenix, a round-10 win over their long-time nemesis the Thunderbirds set the ball rolling for an improved second half of the competition.

    Ellis paid tribute to the quality of the Thunderbirds in their fifth consecutive grand final.

    You can measure how good your team is by the quality of the teams they defeat,” she said.

    #994949
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2002 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Thunderbirds 56 v Kestrels 37
    Phoenix 60 v Ravens 47
    Swifts 56 v Orioles 36
    Firebirds 49 v Sandpipers 63

    Round 2
    Orioles 42 v Firebirds 44
    Ravens 35 v Thunderbirds 57
    Kestrels 33 v Swifts 50
    Sandpipers 54 v Phoenix 59

    Round 3
    Swifts 51 v Ravens 38
    Thunderbirds 70 v Sandpipers 48
    Phoenix 68 v Firebirds 36
    Kestrels 51 v Orioles 26

    Round 4
    Sandpipers 49 v Swifts 50
    Phoenix 58 v Orioles 37
    Ravens 44 v Kestrels 68
    Firebirds 26 v Thunderbirds 67

    Round 5
    Swifts 43 v Thunderbirds 46
    Ravens 45 v Firebirds 55
    Kestrels 45 v Phoenix 59
    Orioles 40 v Sandpipers 47

    Round 6
    Firebirds 35 v Kestrels 57
    Phoenix 59 v Swifts 51
    Sandpipers 48 v Ravens 35
    Orioles 28 v Thunderbirds 61

    >Round 7
    Thunderbirds 43 v Phoenix 51
    Kestrels 49 v Sandpipers 50
    Swifts 56 v Firebirds 24
    Orioles 36 v Ravens 47

    Round 8
    Sandpipers 66 v Firebirds 42
    Ravens 44 v Phoenix 59
    Orioles 31 v Swifts 54
    Kestrels 54 v Thunderbirds 45

    Round 9
    Swifts 54 v Kestrels 45
    Firebirds 60 v Orioles 41
    Thunderbirds 50 v Ravens 31
    Phoenix 56 v Sandpipers 56

    Round 10
    Orioles 35 v Kestrels 42
    Sandpipers 37 v Thunderbirds 70
    Ravens 42 v Swifts 71
    Firebirds 49 v Phoenix 64

    Round 11
    Swifts 45 v Sandpipers 43
    Kestrels 57 v Ravens 43
    Thunderbirds 73 v Firebirds 31
    Orioles 31 v Phoenix 56

    Round 12
    Thunderbirds 61 v Swifts 47
    Firebirds 51 v Ravens 44
    Sandpipers 49 v Orioles 40
    Phoenix 64 v Kestrels 41

    Round 13
    Ravens 56 v Sandpipers 60
    Swifts 49 v Phoenix 46
    Thunderbirds 74 v Orioles 33
    Kestrels 61 v Firebirds 39

    Round 14
    Phoenix 60 v Thunderbirds 47
    Sandpipers 50 v Kestrels 55
    Ravens 51 v Orioles 48
    Firebirds 32 v Swifts 66

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .12 . . 1 . . 1 . . 815 . . 630 . . +185 . . 130.61 . . 25
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 807 . . 548 . . +259 . . 147.26 . . 24
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .11 . . 3 . . 0 . . 743 . . 585 . . +158 . . 127.01 . . 22
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 8 . . 6 . . 0 . . 712 . . 668 . . .+44 . . 106.59 . . 16

    —–
    S’PIPERS. . . 14 . . 7 . . 6 . . 1 . . 720 . . 716 . . . +4 . . 100.56 . . 15
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 4 . .10 . . 0 . . 573 . . 813 . . -240 . . .70.48 . . .8
    RAVENS .. . . 14 . . 2 . .12 . . 0 . . 602 . . 771 . . -169 . . .78.88 . . .4
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 0 . .14 . . 0 . . 504 . . 750 . . -246 . . .67.20 . . .0

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – PHOENIX v THUNDERBIRDS
    State Netball Hockey Centre, Melbourne

    PHOENIX WON 53-38
    (10-6, 26-20, 40-30, 53-38)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Boniello
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Southby 31/37 84%, McMahon 22/30 73%, TOTAL 53/67 79%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Roberts
    GA . Delaney
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. Sanders
    WD . N.von Bertouch
    GD . Harby-Williams
    GK . Squire

    Changes:
    2nd Q – Fellowes GK (N.von Bertouch), Squire to WD, Worthley GS (Roberts).

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 22/36 61%, Worthley 14/18 78%, Roberts 2/7 29%, TOTAL 38/61 62%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Stacey Campton

    Crowd: 2000

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – SWIFTS v KESTRELS
    State Sports Centre, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 55-47
    (15-13, 32-23, 43-33, 55-47)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Altschwager
    WA . Akle
    C .. Anderson
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 36/40 90%, Altschwager 19/22 86%, TOTAL 55/62 89%

    KESTRELS:
    GS . Burton
    GA . Neele
    WA . Doyle
    C .. Richardson
    WD . Vivian
    GD . Garbutt
    GK . Ilitch

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Neele 35/40 88%, Burton 8/9 89%, Doyle 4/?

    Umpires: Michelle Phippard, Deb Farrelly

    Crowd: 3000

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v SWIFTS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 46-42
    (14-12, 29-21, 41-29, 46-42)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Worthley
    GA . Delaney
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby-Williams
    GK . Fellowes

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 28/39 72%, Worthley 18/26 69%, TOTAL 46/65 71%

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Altschwager
    WA . Akle
    C .. Anderson
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    4th Q – Altschwager to GS, Cox to GA.

    Shooting stats:
    Altschwager 21/24 87%, Cox 21/28 75%, TOTAL 42/52 81%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard

    Crowd: 3300

    .

    GRAND FINAL – PHOENIX v THUNDERBIRDS
    Vodafone Arena, Melbourne

    PHOENIX WON 49-44
    (11-9, 26-14, 36-30, 49-44)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Doran
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Boniello
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Dick C (Meaney)
    During 3rd Q – Meaney C (Dick), McMahon to GS, Southby to GA.

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 27/35 77%, Southby 22/29 76%, TOTAL 49/64 77%

    Thunderbirds
    GS . Worthley
    GA . Delaney
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Squire
    GD . Harby-Williams
    GK . Fellowes

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Roberts GS (Worthley).
    During 3rd Q – Colbeck GS (Roberts).

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 22/36 61%, Colbeck 17/17 100%, Worthley 5/7 71%, Roberts 0/3 0%, TOTAL 44/63 70%

    Player Of The Match: Sharelle McMahon

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard

    Crowd: 5500

    Thunderbirds are go but Phoenix set to rise
    Jessica Halloran and AAP
    Sydney Morning Herald

    Melbourne Phoenix coach Lisa Alexander felt a pit of nervousness in her stomach as she drove home from yesterday’s netball grand final breakfast in Melbourne.

    After two hours on the Gippsland Highway she arrived at her home in the country and stared out on to the “rolling green hills” to relax and put aside of the task of steering her team to a third premiership trophy.

    But tonight pure determination will engulf Alexander’s mind as she attempts to plot the Adelaide Thunderbirds’ downfall.

    Adelaide have been uncharacteristically out of form and have lost to the Phoenix in their past two games, but Alexander and her players are expecting more from them in Melbourne tonight.

    “It will be a much closer encounter between the two teams,” she said. “We watched them carefully last week [against the Swifts in the preliminary final]. The Thunderbirds are a great outfit. They do their home work very well.”

    Phoenix co-captain and goal shooter Eloise Southby also believes the Thunderbirds will be a sharper team because of the occasion and said a great start” to the match was the key to victory.

    “I don’t think we can expect them to play how they have in the past. I expect them to give us their all,” Southby said.

    “I think the first quarter will be a bat out of hell. We will make sure we get off to a good start and play to their pace.”

    Southby believes the Thunderbirds’ centre court is their key weapon.

    “I think they’ve got different strengths all over the court, but their mid-court with Bec [Sanders] in centre and you have [to watch] Jacqui Delaney in that centre corridor.

    Southby also said Adelaide captain Kathryn Harby-Williams’s intercepting in defence was the key to Adelaide’s staunch defence.

    Southby labelled their clash in June last year “physical and bitter” after players from both sides finished with bloody noses and bruises.

    But Alexander said the rules had changed since and umpiring had become more vigilant.

    “I think the umpires now have got a lot more room to manoeuvre in terms of discipline on the court,” she said. “They are not putting up with any dissent and are not prepared to put up with it. They set the standard at the start of the game.”

    The vigilance of the umpiring was shown in their major semi-final when the Thunderbirds gave away a massive 106 penalties

    But while the game may not be as physical as in the past, it should be just as intense.

    Phoenix co-captain Liz Boniello said her team was “pumped up and ready to go”.

    “The umpires have been controlling the game, especially in the recent weeks,” she said. I expect it not to be physical, but we expect to control [the play].”

    She said Adelaide’s preliminary final win showed how strong and tough they were. The rest of the season is so irrelevant now, what matters is [tonight]. They will be tough, they will want this grand final just as much as we do.”

    The odds favour the Phoenix.

    The Thunderbirds don’t have a great record in Melbourne winning only one-third of their 15 matches there, the grand final has always been won by the home team and the Phoenix have beaten the Thunderbirds in their two previous grand final clashes.

    But Harby-Williams said the Thunderbirds, fitter and more confident, were capable of vast improvement.

    Harby-Williams said Adelaide’s unflattering grand final record of successive losses in 2000 and 2001 and two wins from five title deciders also counted for little.

    “A lot of people will say, `Look, if you lose this one you’re under-achievers’, but we’re a lot happier to have reached the grand final than to have lost last week [in the preliminary final].

    “There’s no fear at all, our group is quite relaxed, we’ve exceeded our own expectations and we’re confident we can come over and be prepared to win the game.”

    Adelaide centre Sanders seems to have fully recovered from the dislocated ankle she suffered in the semi-final against the Phoenix two weeks ago and starred against the Swifts last week.

    And shooters Jacqui Delaney and Jacqui Roberts, who had been out of touch in recent times, showed better form last week.

    Thunderbirds wing defence Peta Squire, who has never missed a game with the side since the competition started in 1997, will play her 100th match tonight.

    THE FACTS AND FIGURES

    MELBOURNE PHOENIX:
    Coach: Lisa Alexander.
    Captains: Liz Boniello and Eloise Southby.

    ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS:
    Coach: Marg Angove.
    Captain: Kathryn Harby-Williams.

    HEAD TO HEAD:
    Played 19: Phoenix 12, Thunderbirds 6, Drawn 1.

    2002:
    Phoenix 51-43 (round seven).
    Phoenix 60-47 (round 14).
    Phoenix 53-38 (major semi-final).

    Grand finals: Phoenix 58-48 (1997), Phoenix 52-51 (2000).

    Television coverage: ABC tomorrow at 5pm.

    Phoenix soar to third title
    AAP
    September 14 2002

    The Melbourne Phoenix extended their season-long dominance over the Adelaide Thunderbirds last night to become national league champions.

    The Phoenix won an exciting grand final 49-44 at Melbourne’s Vodafone Arena to become the first side to win three premierships.

    The victory, before a crowd of 5,500, was the Phoenix’s fourth this season over Adelaide and condemned the Thunderbirds to three successive grand final losses.

    It was the Phoenix’s second premiership in the past three seasons and a fitting result for a side that lost just one game and drew one for the season.

    Inspired by Australian national star Sharelle McMahon, the Phoenix surged to a 26-14 half-time lead, then held on in the second half after the Thunderbirds mounted a brilliant comeback.

    Down by 13 early in the third quarter, the Thunderbirds reduced the margin to six by the last change and twice narrowed the gap to one goal in the last quarter.

    But McMahon, who starred in the second quarter with 10 goals, again stood up in the last quarter, sealing Melbourne’s win with nine goals for the term.

    McMahon’s presence in the second quarter was symbolic of the Phoenix’s aggression and the Victorians rarely allowed the Thunderbirds an easy possession.

    The Phoenix surged to a 33-20 lead shortly after half-time.

    But Adelaide persisted through the long shooting of Jacqui Delaney and, once the Thunderbirds found the right mix up forward, they fought back superbly.

    Adelaide tried Carrie Worthley and Jacqui Roberts to partner Delaney, but only found the right combination with Anna Coldbeck, who scored 17 goals from as many attempts.

    Coldbeck’s influence helped narrow the lead twice to one goal in the last quarter, but the Phoenix finished off well to give Lisa Alexander a premiership in her first season as coach.

    Coldbeck had played only one quarter of netball this season and finished the year with a perfect shooting record of 24 goals from 24 shots.

    #994970
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2003 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Thunderbirds 59 v Sandpipers 30
    Kestrels 44 v Firebirds 52
    Phoenix 57 v Orioles 38
    Darters 35 v Swifts 60

    Round 2
    Firebirds 41 v Phoenix 56
    Swifts 38 v Thunderbirds 43
    Orioles 39 v Darters 43
    Kestrels 53 v Sandpipers 46

    Round 3
    Thunderbirds 40 v Phoenix 44
    Swifts 64 v Sandpipers 39
    Kestrels 51 v Orioles 44
    Darters 47 v Firebirds 41

    Round 4
    Orioles 29 v Swifts 43
    Sandpipers 60 v Darters 39
    Firebirds 40 v Thunderbirds 41
    Phoenix 51 v Kestrels 41

    Round 5
    Sandpipers 54 v Firebirds 35
    Swifts 51 v Phoenix 38
    Darters 44 v Kestrels 54
    Orioles 35 v Thunderbirds 63

    Round 6
    Thunderbirds 60 v Darters 36
    Swifts 63 v Kestrels 35
    Orioles 40 v Firebirds 52
    Phoenix 57 v Sandpipers 39

    Round 7
    Darters 50 v Phoenix 70
    Kestrels 40 v Thunderbirds 62
    Firebirds 40 v Swifts 59
    Sandpipers 48 v Orioles 35

    Round 8
    Sandpipers 42 v Swifts 55
    Orioles 33 v Kestrels 59
    Firebirds 51 v Darters 44
    Phoenix 52 v Thunderbirds 36

    Round 9
    Thunderbirds 58 v Orioles 46
    Firebirds 36 v Sandpipers 41
    Kestrels 62 v Darters 41
    Phoenix 53 v Swifts 46

    Round 10
    Thunderbirds 58 v Firebirds 43
    Swifts 67 v Orioles 41
    Darters 55 v Sandpipers 51
    Kestrels 38 v Phoenix 46

    Round 11
    Thunderbirds 47 v Swifts 64
    Sandpipers 48 v Kestrels 55
    Darters 64 v Orioles 46
    Phoenix 71 v Firebirds 29

    Round 12
    Swifts 47 v Darters 49
    Sandpipers 33 v Thunderbirds 57
    Orioles 38 v Phoenix 61
    Firebirds 47 v Kestrels 54

    Round 13
    Darters 47 v Thunderbirds 63
    Sandpipers 44 v Phoenix 58
    Firebirds 39 v Orioles 51
    Kestrels 48 v Swifts 40

    Round 14
    Swifts 78 v Firebirds 40
    Thunderbirds 46 v Kestrels 49
    Orioles 37 v Sandpipers 46
    Phoenix 64 v Darters 28

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .13 . . 1 . . 0 . . 778 . . 559 . . +219 . . 139.18 . . 26
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .10 . . 4 . . 0 . . 775 . . 579 . . +196 . . 133.85 . . 20
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .10 . . 4 . . 0 . . 730 . . 597 . . +133 . . 122.28 . . 20
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 9 . . 5 . . 0 . . 683 . . 663 . . .+20 . . 103.02 . . 18

    —–
    S’PIPERS. . . 14 . . 5 . . 9 . . 0 . . 621 . . 695 . . .-74 . . .89.35 . . 10
    DARTERS . . . 14 . . 5 . . 9 . . 0 . . 622 . . 761 . . -139 . . .81.73 . . 10
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 3 . .11 . . 0 . . 586 . . 738 . . -152 . . .79.40 . . .6
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 1 . .13 . . 0 . . 552 . . 751 . . -199 . . .73.50 . . .2

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – PHOENIX v SWIFTS
    State Netball Hockey Centre, Melbourne

    SWIFTS WON 45-44
    (12-15, 28-22, 34-32, 44-45)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Meaney
    C .. Dick
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Boniello
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Jacobsen WA (Dick), Meaney to C.

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 26/34 76%, Southby 18/22 82%, TOTAL 44/56 79%

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Altschwager
    WA . Anderson
    C .. Barrett
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 28/37 76%, Altschwager 17/25 68%, TOTAL 45/62 73%

    Umpires: Stacey Campton, Deb Farrelly

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v KESTRELS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 51-46
    (11-13, 24-23, 39-33, 51-46)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Delaney
    WA . N.von Bertouch
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Scholz
    GD . Harby-Williams
    GK . Fellowes

    Changes:
    None

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 28/35 80%, Heinrich 23/27 85%, TOTAL 51/62 82%

    KESTRELS:
    GS . Burton
    GA . Neele
    WA . O’Donnell
    C .. Richardson
    WD . van Rensberg
    GD . Garbutt
    GK . Ilitch

    Changes:
    4th Q – Booth GS (Burton).

    Shooting stats:
    Neele 29/38 76%, Burton 11/15 73%, Booth 6/7 83%, TOTAL 46/60 77%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – PHOENIX v THUNDERBIRDS
    State Netball Hockey Centre, Melbourne

    PHOENIX WON 59-43
    (14-13, 30-24, 47-33 59-43)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Boniello
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Dick C (Jacobsen), Meaney to WA.

    Shooting stats:
    Southby 32/38 84%, McMahon 27/32 84%, TOTAL 59/70 84%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Delaney
    GA . Avellino
    WA . N.von Bertouch
    C .. Sanders
    WD . Scholz
    GD . Harby-Williams
    GK . Fellowes

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Avellino to GS, Delaney to GA.

    Shooting stats:
    Delaney 27/36 75%, Avellino 16/25 64%, TOTAL 43/61 70%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard

    .

    GRAND FINAL – SWIFTS v PHOENIX
    Superdome, Sydney

    PHOENIX WON 47-44
    (14-12, 22-23, 31-37, 44-47)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Altschwager
    WA . Anderson
    C .. Barrett
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 23/36 64%, Altschwager 21/27 78%, TOTAL 44/63 70%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Boniello
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Dick C (Jacobsen), Meaney to WA.

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 32/40 80%, Southby 15/25 60%, TOTAL 47/65 72%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard

    Crowd: 10507

    Boniello set for final flash
    Linda Pearce
    The Sunday Age

    Despite all her bad luck, a retiring Liz Boniello is grateful for the opportunities she’s had, writes Linda Pearce.

    IN a drawer in Shepparton lies a scrapbook that chronicles a sporting life through more than a decade of media ink. The brilliant schoolgirl athlete. The junior Australian netball captain touted as a future senior leader. The long-term goal defence in the national team. Or so it seemed.

    But then the tragedies, a series of them. Beyond the two serious knee injuries that ruined the first dreams of Commonwealth Games and world championships; and far more than the selection injustices that, four years later, buried both ambitions for all time. The accidental death of a sister, in 1997; of a father, last year, through illness; and, on the eve of her planned wedding day, of a fiance’s sister, who suffered a brain aneurism while buying flowers for the bride and groom.

    Liz Boniello, formerly Taverner, has flicked through the cuttings, compiled and kept by her mother, and says that what she has read has “broken her heart”. The experience is made stranger still by the realisation that the person she is reading about is herself.

    “It’s been a sort of surreal way of looking at my life, looking through the scrapbook and I suppose achieving so much,” said Boniello. “(Reading) articles of being in the Aussie team with some legends of the game that played during that era, and having the opportunity to be interviewed for the vice-captaincy and really being in just a fantastic position in my sporting career, and then all the downs that followed. The ups and downs.”

    And now, in Friday’s national league grand final against the Swifts in Sydney, the end of it all. After 89 national league games for the Melbourne Phoenix, as a key member of at least three premiership teams, perhaps four. After 12 Tests for Australia, but never at a major championship. Aged 31, after one of her best individual seasons she is a wife whose next plan is to become a mother.

    Boniello still loves the game as much as ever, and hates to think how she will feel when it’s over. Nor does she want a big send-off, or any fuss. Her impending retirement – “the r-word”, as coach Lisa Alexander calls it – has not been discussed openly by the Phoenix, although its coming is no secret. In this interview, the club’s popular co-captain was unusually reticent, having made a conscious decision to go quietly and fearing the distractions that may still intrude.

    “My plans for next year just haven’t been spoken about within our team,” she said, carefully. Certainly the girls are aware of it, but I just haven’t wanted to make a big hoo-ha about it. A few years ago, (Thunderbird) Sarah Sutter was retiring for six months of that season, and it just went on forever, and I know even her teammates were laughing about it, saying, `Oh, Sutts, when are you going to retire?’ I just didn’t want to be in that position, or put that pressure and expectation on everyone else around me.”

    Boniello prefers to talk about what lies further ahead, and recently had a quiet word with her friend and protege Bianca Chatfield, the national under-21 captain tipped to return to the senior team under new coach Norma Plummer. Boniello has already told Plummer how much she would like to be 25 again, starting over under her old mentor, and hopes fate is kinder to Chatfield, her so-called “little sister” in the defensive circle.

    “I gave B a lecture the other day, saying, Now B, just don’t think you’re going to be in the Australian team for the next 10 years, just appreciate every single game when you get back in again because it doesn’t last forever’,” Boniello said. “Five or six years ago, I just thought I was going to be in the Australian team for the next five or six years and that didn’t work out the way I’d planned.”

    Selection disappointments of the past two years have hurt immensely. So devastated was Boniello to miss the 2002 Commonwealth Games that it almost destroyed her season. She was more prepared to be overlooked for this year’s world titles and, while handling it far better the second time around, was scarcely less disappointed. “Last year, I really struggled confidence-wise and I suppose I never got back,” Boniello said. “I only ended up playing reasonable netball once the Commonwealth Games were finished, and of course during that time, my dad passed away as well.

    “The past couple of years have been really difficult being a (national) squad member and wanting to go to that next level, and my two outstanding goals in netball were the Commonwealth Games and the world championships. But the time’s right to move on to other things. If I hung around next year, who’s to say I’d get selected under Norma? Anyway, it’s not what I want to do. There’s young players that they need to develop.”

    Boniello is grateful for the opportunities she has had, and honoured to have represented her country, conscious that all she has missed has sharpened her appreciation for what she has had. Her game has also benefited, according to Alexander, for certainly Liz has had a lot of life-changing things that have happened to her and she has a lot of time to reflect on that, and as a person and player she’s grown so much”.

    “She just gets out there and she knows that every game counts. She just wants to put everything into every game, and she prepares herself better than anybody.” This week, she will do so for one last time, before the focus shifts to the family she hopes to start with Tony, a former Canberra Cannons guard and her husband of almost three years. Coaching does not appeal, but Boniello may draw on what she calls her disappointments in life, and disappointments in selections”, to assume a player welfare role.

    Which for now leaves one of the game’s most respected players, and one of its unluckiest, trying in vain to describe her own career in 50 words or less. “Ooooh, up and down, there’s three words,” she said. “I’ve given everything a go, I suppose. I’ve had some really great times and have such great memories and there’s been some real down-and-out times as well.

    “When I look back, it brings a smile to my face, and the standout thing is the friendships that you make along the way and that you keep forever. For me, it just means so much. The good times that we had just override everything else that happens along the way.”

    2003 GRAND FINAL

    Sydney Swifts v Melbourne Phoenix
    8pm on Friday, 12 September, at the SuperDome, Sydney
    TV: ABC, Saturday, 13 September, 4-5pm (replay).

    CROWD: More than 8000 tickets have been sold. The SuperDome capacity is 20,000 and organisers hope to trump the 10,000 at the 1991 world championship final between Australia and New Zealand.

    Composed Phoenix rain on Swifts parade
    By Tim Dick
    September 13, 2003

    If you’d turned up two hours late to the national league grand final on Friday night, you would’ve known who had won without looking at the scoreboard. Only the Melbourne Phoenix were still around, like party gatecrashers who didn’t know when to go home.

    They rained on the Sydney Swifts’ parade, retaining their championship title and securing their NNL dominance – four titles in their seven-year history. The record crowd for a domestic game – 10,507 – was outscreamed by a small but hardy bunch of Southern Men who donned purple hair and the purple playing uniforms of their Phoenix partners and friends.

    In the end it was that band of merry men who got to cheer their team last during the presentation ceremony, knowing that the Melbourne Phoenix had made history by winning a grand final away from home – the first team to do so.

    Wiping away tears after the game, victorious coach Lisa Alexander said “it’s a very emotional victory”, as co-captain Liz Boniello made her final game a winning one. Alexander wasn’t shy in praising the standard of the match, saying: “If people don’t want to watch netball, they’re bloody mad after that.”

    She said it was one of the best games she had seen.

    That probably wasn’t what Swifts shooter Catherine Cox was thinking, saying she was preparing to drown her sorrows but was already looking to next year.

    In the post-match huddle, “Liz [Ellis] said to us, ‘just remember how bad this feels because we don’t want to be here again’.

    “Look forward to next year. It’s the only thing you can do,” Cox said.

    Going into the game, the Swifts had a double-barrelled advantage over the Phoenix, having beaten them nine times to six with one draw overall, but the major statistic against a Victorian win was that an away team had never won a grand final.

    The Phoenix might have won half the six previous title-deciders they had played in but each was in front of a partisan Melbourne crowd. Last night, with a record-breaking crowd of 10,507 almost entirely against them, the Phoenix had to play a near-perfect game – and hope the Swifts returned to their late-season form slump – to become only the second team to successfully defend a championship title.

    The SuperDome was an unhappy hunting ground for the Phoenix when they played the Swifts in May – also in front of a then-record club crowd – Sydney team winning surprisingly easily, 51-38.

    Yet if last night’s Phoenix side was concerned about facing a overwhelmingly partisan crowd, it wasn’t showing it as the players piled out of their mini-bus behind the SuperDome chatting amicably.

    The Phoenix dominated the early part of the game against a faltering Swifts effort. Yet once the Swifts settled – particularly defenders Liz Ellis and Alison Broadbent – they began to claw back that lead. At quarter-time the home side were up by two.

    The second quarter descended into a display of outstanding defence interfering with both sides’ occasionally faltering attack, although it was the Swifts who felt it worse. Cox and Jane Altschwager managed just a 62 per cent conversion rate for the quarter, 17 less than Sharelle McMahon and Eloise Southby. Despite that, the lead swapped four times, with the Phoenix taking a single goal lead into half-time, 23-22.

    After that, they pulled away. As the three-quarter time clock struck, the Swifts trailed the reigning champions 37-31. Their shooting had only improved by five per cent – to 69 – not enough in a grand final. It wasn’t to change in the final quarter.

    While she continued to be her composed self, Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald’s face and lowered shoulders as she glanced at the scoreboard with four minutes left suggested she knew the title wouldn’t be coming to Sydney.

    The lead didn’t stop McMahon continuing to give all who crossed her – including her own teammates – ice-cold stares that gave away just how much she wanted the win. And despite a mini-comeback by the Swifts near the end, they didn’t have enough of the McMahon mongrel to do it.

    #994971
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2004 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Jaegers 59 v Firebirds 52
    Thunderbirds 40 v Swifts 56
    Phoenix 73 v Darters 36
    Kestrels 51 v Orioles 35

    Round 2
    Swifts 56 v Jaegers 45
    Orioles 38 v Darters 43
    Firebirds 44 v Phoenix 67
    Kestrels 31 v Thunderbirds 62

    Round 3
    Darters 43 v Kestrels 44
    Thunderbirds 59 v Firebirds 42
    Phoenix 69 v Jaegers 35
    Swifts 76 v Orioles 32

    Round 4
    Phoenix 46 v Kestrels 51
    Swifts 72 v Firebirds 36
    Thunderbirds 68 v Darters 39
    Jaegers 48 v Orioles 38

    Round 5
    Firebirds 49 v Kestrels 56
    Darters 40 v Swifts 72
    Jaegers 39 v Thunderbirds 51
    Orioles 40 v Phoenix 66

    Round 6
    Jaegers 50 v Darters 48
    Thunderbirds 64 v Phoenix 53
    Kestrels 37 v Swifts 58
    Orioles 47 v Firebirds 37

    Round 7
    Thunderbirds 63 v Orioles 43
    Firebirds 47 v Darters 61
    Kestrels 49 v Jaegers 42
    Phoenix 46 v Swifts 63

    Round 8
    Swifts 42 v Thunderbirds 48
    Orioles 37 v Kestrels 53
    Darters 58 v Phoenix 67
    Firebirds 42 v Jaegers 41

    Round 9
    Phoenix 70 v Orioles 44
    Kestrels 61 v Firebirds 48
    Thunderbirds 60 v Jaegers 42
    Swifts 66 v Darters 50

    Round 10
    Firebirds 45 v Swifts 70
    Orioles 38 v Jaegers 52
    Darters 45 v Thunderbirds 60
    Kestrels 41 v Phoenix 52

    Round 11
    Jaegers 35 v Swifts 66
    Thunderbirds 61 v Kestrels 56
    Darters 50 v Orioles 47
    Phoenix 78 v Firebirds 34

    Round 12
    Firebirds 41 v Orioles 53
    Phoenix 49 v Thunderbirds 59
    Darters 56 v Jaegers 44
    Swifts 58 v Kestrels 43

    Round 13
    Jaegers 42 v Kestrels 44
    Swifts 47 v Phoenix 48
    Darters 55 v Firebirds 56
    Orioles 38 v Thunderbirds 49

    Round 14
    Jaegers 43 v Phoenix 51
    Kestrels 56 v Darters 55
    Orioles 33 v Swifts 53
    Firebirds 55 v Thunderbirds 53

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 842 . . 578 . . +264 . . 145.67 . . 24
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 798 . . 630 . . +168 . . 126.67 . . 24
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .10 . . 4 . . 0 . . 835 . . 659 . . +176 . . 126.71 . . 20
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 9 . . 5 . . 0 . . 673 . . 688 . . .-15 . . .97.82 . . 18

    —–
    DARTERS . . . 14 . . 4 . .10 . . 0 . . 679 . . 788 . . -110 . . .86.16 . . .8
    JAEGERS . . . 14 . . 4 . .10 . . 0 . . 617 . . 720 . . -103 . . .85.69 . . .8
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 3 . .11 . . 0 . . 628 . . 819 . . -191 . . .76.68 . . .6
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 2 . .12 . . 0 . . 543 . . 792 . . -249 . . .68.56 . . .4

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – SWIFTS v THUNDERBIRDS
    Superdome, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 49-43
    (14-13, 27-22, 37-33 49-43)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Barrett
    C .. Green
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 34/41 83%, Anderson 15/17 88%, TOTAL 49/58 84%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Scholz
    GD . Fellowes
    GK . Smith

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Heinrich 23/28 82%, Medhurst 20/24 83%, TOTAL 43/52 83%

    Umpires: Clare McCabe, Deb Farrelly

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – PHOENIX v KESTRELS
    State Netball Hockey Centre, Melbourne

    PHOENIX WON 49-42
    (13-12, 27-20, 40-30, 49-42)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Prendergast
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Dick C (Jacobsen), Meaney to WA.

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 27/39 71%, Southby 22/27 81%, TOTAL 49/65 75%

    KESTRELS:
    GS . Neele
    GA . Booth
    WA . Waller
    C .. van Rensberg
    WD . van Alphen
    GD . Strachan
    GK . Ilitch

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Neele 28/38 74%, Booth 10/14 71%, Burton 4/6 67%, TOTAL 42/58 72%

    Umpires: Stacey Campton, Nikki Boyd

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v PHOENIX
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    PHOENIX WON 57-43
    (9-15, 18-29, 31-42 43-57)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Scholz
    GD . Fellowes
    GK . Smith

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Heinrich 29/35 83%, Medhurst 14/18 78%, TOTAL 43/53 81%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Prendergast
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Dick C (Jacobsen), Meaney to WA.

    Shooting stats:
    Southby 29/38 76%, McMahon 28/34 82%, TOTAL 57/72 79%

    Umpires: Stacey Campton, Clare McCabe

    .

    GRAND FINAL – SWIFTS v PHOENIX
    Superdome, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 52-51
    (14-14, 27-29, 39-42 52-51)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Barrett
    C .. Green
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Akle WA (Green), Barrett to C.

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 36/41 88%, Anderson 16/20 80%, TOTAL 52/61 85%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Meaney
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Prendergast
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Curran GD (Prendergast).
    4th Q – Prendergast GD (Curran).

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 33/42 79%, Southby 18/21 88%, TOTAL 51/63 81%

    Umpires: Stacey Campton, Clare McCabe

    Crowd: 5187

    Phoenix hungry to make history
    Daniella Miletic
    The Sunday Age

    Reigning dual premier Melbourne Phoenix came into the National Netball League finals an underdog, but will enter next Saturday’s grand final against the first-placed Swifts at the Sydney SuperDome with the intention of creating history.

    Last year Phoenix became the first team to win a grand final on the road, beating the Sydney Swifts on their home court in the championship game, 47-44.

    This year, after struggling to finish third on the national ladder, the Phoenix are determined to become the first team to achieve three consecutive national league premierships.

    Coach Lisa Alexander said yesterday the Phoenix “want it bad”.

    “We have already experienced it twice, and just because we have done it twice, doesn’t mean we are tired of it. I think that the Brisbane Lions would tell you that as well,” she said.

    She said the Phoenix, who slumped early on in the season as star players Sharelle McMahon and Eloise Southby-Halbish struggled with ankle injuries, had come into their best form late in the season.

    “We have come into the finals as the underdog, because we haven’t been consistent through the season. However, what we are doing is showing that when a competition gets more mature, we are going to have things that change precedents. They say that the teams that finish in the top two win the grand final. Our goal this week is to make sure that doesn’t happen,” she said.

    “We feel we are coming into our best form at the right time of the year, and that’s really what counts.”

    Phoenix, who have won four premierships titles, last defeated the Swifts in round 13 by just one goal, 48-47. The Swifts thumped the Phoenix earlier in the year, 63-46.

    Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald yesterday said the game would be tough given the Phoenix’s ability to play under finals pressure.

    “Even though Phoenix struggled in the first rounds of the competition, I do still think they are the benchmark of the competition. They obviously have enormous success in finals, so you always knew in the back of your mind that they were going to step up. And you are always weary of the fact that you know they perform well under a finals situation,” she said.

    “This premiership means everything in the world. We have worked really hard this year . . . we really think we have got a chance of getting this and we deserve it and will be giving it everything.”

    Alexander said Sydney’s home court advantage would count for nothing.

    “Funnily enough, a home grand final is more exhausting for us than an away grand final. I know that sounds strange, but with girls who work full time and have study and other commitments, taking them away takes them from their busy lives and allows them to focus,” she said.

    “We don’t fear going to Sydney at all. Obviously we would love to play in Melbourne in front of a home crowd, but that’s just not the case.”

    Phoenix goal keeper Bianca Chatfield, who is preparing for her fourth grand final, said the fight to the finals was toughest the team had encountered.

    She said that winning the grand final from third place was always going to be a “tough struggle”.

    “This is definitely the hardest challenge we have had, going through this season. We all feel that we got this far, why can’t we go that little bit extra?”NATIONAL NETBALL LEAGUE GRAND FINAL

    SYDNEY SWIFTS v MELBOURNE PHOENIX
    4.30pm Saturday, Sydney
    Live on ABC TV
    Head to head: Swifts 10, Phoenix 8, draw 1

    MELBOURNE PHOENIX
    Coach: Lisa Alexander
    Captains: Sharelle McMahon, Eloise Southby-Halbish

    SYDNEY SWIFTS
    Coach: Julie Fitzgerald
    Captain: Liz Ellis

    Swifts win title in a thriller
    Nabila Ahmed, Sydney
    The Sunday Age

    Sydney Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald felt it was her team’s destiny to triumph in the National Netball League grand final yesterday.

    Her captain, star defender Liz Ellis, though, was well aware that destiny “does not quite pull on a skirt and play”.

    Still, when Ellis watched the Kookaburras defy the odds to beat the Netherlands to claim an Olympic gold in the early hours of yesterday as part of her news presenting shift for Channel Seven, she took some heart.

    The Australian men’s hockey team had defeated a side going for its third consecutive title and the Swifts would be facing the same challenge against dual reigning premiers Melbourne Phoenix in a matter of hours.

    “I nearly missed my flight because I was watching the Kookaburras and I did take note that the Netherlands were going for their third gold medal in a row and I thought that’s a great omen for us,” said Ellis.

    But with little more than 11 minutes remaining in the grand final at Sydney’s SuperDome and the Phoenix leading by six goals, Ellis began to think that perhaps her unorthodox preparation – she trained away from her team at the Victorian Institute of Sport every afternoon after completing the midnight-to-dawn shift for Seven – had not been such a good idea after all.

    Then she remembered the e-mails that teammate Megan Anderson had sent around to the Swifts group during the week.

    “They were photos of 2001 when we won and then photos of last year when we lost. She said, ‘What feeling do you want on Saturday?’ It was the thing that drove us,” she said.

    So Ellis did what she does, and “stepped up a grade”, as Fitzgerald put it, pulling off a couple of brilliant intercepts to stem the flow of the Phoenix game and slowly turn the tide the Swifts’ way.

    The Phoenix, who crashed the home team’s party last year to become the first group to win a grand final away from home, were spent and tired after an intense three-and-a-half quarters, and could only watch as their lead was pared back. It was down to two when Swifts’ Alison Broadbent made a crucial intercept to allow teammate Catherine Cox, the competition’s leading goal scorer, to goal at the other end.

    Although Phoenix co-captain Sharelle McMahon managed to take the lead back out to two within 30 seconds, the Swifts soon drew level and with a minute left in the match, Cox put the home team in the lead.

    Eloise Southby-Halbish responded immediately for the Phoenix but with about 15 seconds left, it was Cox who found herself under the basket with the ball.

    Ellis knew then that the game was theirs. “I just had absolute confidence . . . I just thought it’ll go in,” she said later.

    As for Cox, who had already scored 557 goals this season, she was trying not to worry too much. “I didn’t think about anything, because as soon as I think about it, I will miss it. So I just got it and thought ‘this one’s going in and it did’,” Cox said .

    An emotional Fitzgerald said later she always believed her team would fight back.

    “I said to them before we came out tonight, ‘We led this for 13 rounds, we’re the minor premiers for the first time, if you ever deserve it, it’s now’.”

    Southby-Halbish said it was enough that the Phoenix had risen from the ashes of their worst season to come within a goal of glory.

    “We played pretty terrible earlier in the year. We started off OK but then we got a bit messy in the middle and there were a few injuries and other things happening in the team,” she said.

    “We’ve had a hard tussle in the last few weeks getting into this final and we just ran out of legs in the end. I’m really proud of my team, we gave it our best shot and we came slightly short, so I’m looking forward to next year already.”

    Phoenix coach Lisa Alexander said yesterday was Sydney’s day.

    “They gave their all out there and I don’t want anyone thinking or feeling that we didn’t give it all,” she said. “Everything was left out on that court this afternoon and a better team beat us on the day.”

    DETAILS

    NATIONAL NETBALL LEAGUE
    Grand final

    Sydney Swifts 52 d Melbourne Phoenix 51

    Sydney Swifts:
    Catherine Cox, 36 at 88 per cent and Megan Anderson, 16 at 80.

    Melbourne Phoenix:
    Sharelle McMahon, 33 at 79 per cent and Eloise Southby-Halbish 18 at 86.

    Best on court: Catherine Cox.
    Crowd: 5187, at Sydney SuperDome.

    Retiree: Liz Walton, Melbourne Phoenix.

    #994982
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2005 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    Round 1
    Darters 46 v Jaegers 49
    Orioles 32 v Swifts 63
    Firebirds 36 v Jaegers 53
    Kestrels 47 v Thunderbirds 62
    Phoenix 75 v Darters 47

    Round 2
    Thunderbirds 66 v Orioles 50
    Darters 53 v Kestrels 61
    Jaegers 28 v Swifts 68
    Firebirds 52 v Phoenix 73

    Round 3
    Swifts 58 v Kestrels 39
    Jaegers 51 v Phoenix 57
    Darters 50 v Orioles 63
    Thunderbirds 64 v Firebirds 52

    Round 4
    Jaegers 42 v Thunderbirds 70
    Swifts 70 v Darters 47
    Orioles 53 v Firebirds 46
    Kestrels 52 v Phoenix 58

    Round 5
    Jaegers 59 v Kestrels 44
    Thunderbirds 49 v Swifts 60
    Phoenix 59 v Orioles 50
    Darters 54 v Firebirds 53

    Round 6
    Swifts 65 v Phoenix 54
    Firebirds 48 v Kestrels 52
    Darters 41 v Thunderbirds 80
    Orioles 48 v Jaegers 54

    Round 7
    Orioles 64 v Darters 42
    Firebirds 40 v Thunderbirds 63
    Phoenix 73 v Jaegers 47
    Kestrels 41 v Swifts 60

    Round 8
    Thunderbirds 54 v Phoenix 50
    Jaegers 58 v Darters 43
    Swifts 65 v Firebirds 39
    Kestrels 57 v Orioles 42

    Round 9
    Swifts 62 v Jaegers 50
    Darters 46 v Phoenix 62
    Orioles 47 v Thunderbirds 65
    Kestrels 58 v Darters 44
    Phoenix 76 v Firebirds 31

    Round 10
    Phoenix 63 v Kestrels 48
    Firebirds 41 v Orioles 60
    Darters 45 v Swifts 70
    Thunderbirds 57 v Jaegers 40

    Round 11
    Jaegers 54 v Firebirds 48
    Swifts 69 v Orioles 39
    Thunderbirds 50 v Kestrels 43

    Round 12
    Firebirds 46 v Swifts 64
    Phoenix 67 v Thunderbirds 41
    Orioles 49 v Kestrels 52

    Round 13
    Phoenix 57 v Swifts 40
    Jaegers 56 v Orioles 50
    Thunderbirds 77 v Darters 37
    Kestrels 65 v Firebirds 33

    Round 14
    Swifts 56 v Thunderbirds 62
    Firebirds 42 v Darters 59
    Orioles 50 v Phoenix 58
    Kestrels 59 v Jaegers 49

    .

    LADDER


    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts

    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 870 . . 628 . . +242 . . 138.54 . . 24
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 882 . . 674 . . +208 . . 130.76 . . 24
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .12 . . 2 . . 0 . . 863 . . 672 . . +191 . . 128.42 . . 24
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 7 . . 7 . . 0 . . 718 . . 728 . . .-10 . . .98.63 . . 14

    —–
    JAEGERS . . . 14 . . 7 . . 7 . . 0 . . 690 . . 761 . . .-71 . . .90.67 . . 14
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 4 . .10 . . 0 . . 697 . . 778 . . .-81 . . .87.34 . . .8
    DARTERS . . . 14 . . 2 . .12 . . 0 . . 654 . . 882 . . -228 . . .74.15 . . .4
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 0 . .14 . . 0 . . 607 . . 855 . . -248 . . .70.99 . . .0

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – SWIFTS v PHOENIX
    Wollongong Entertainment Centre

    PHOENIX WON 49-47
    (12-10, 26-23, 37-37 47-49)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Ware
    C .. Barrett
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 34/44 77%, Anderson 13/19 68%, TOTAL 47/63 75%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Dick
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Curran
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Southby 25/28 89%, McMahon 24/30 80%, TOTAL 49/58 84%

    Penalties: Swifts 71-43
    Rebounds: Phoenix 9-7
    Turnovers: 26-26
    Intercepts: 11-11

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Nikki Boyd

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v KESTRELS
    ETSA Park, Adelaide

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 68-45
    (15-10, 35-19, 52-33, 68-45)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Scholz
    GD . Fellowes
    GK . Reddy

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Medhurst 37/40 93%, Heinrich 31/36 86%, TOTAL 68/76 89%

    KESTRELS:
    GS . Booth
    GA . Neele
    WA . O’Donnell
    C .. Nash
    WD . Cargill
    GD . Garbutt
    GK . Strachan

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Thwaites GS (Booth).

    Shooting stats:
    Neele 24/33 73%, Thwaites 16/17 94%, Booth 5/8 63%, TOTAL 45/58 78%

    Penalties: Kestrels 80-49
    Rebounds: Tbirds 10-7
    Turnovers: Kestrels 33-22
    Intercepts: Tbirds 17-8

    Umpires: Stacey Campton, Jacqui Jashari

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – SWIFTS v THUNDERBIRDS
    State Sports Centre, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 63-43
    (14-8, 32-18, 47-31, 63-43)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Ware
    C .. Barrett
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 43/50 86%, Anderson 20/24 83%, TOTAL 63/74 85%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Scholz
    GD . Fellowes
    GK . Reddy

    Changes:
    Unknown

    Shooting stats:
    Heinrich 32/38 84%, Medhurst 8/10 80%, Avellino 3/6 50%, TOTAL 43/54 80%

    Penalties: Tbirds 69-60
    Rebounds: Swifts 14-6
    Turnovers: Tbirds 30-26
    Intercepts: Swifts 13-7

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Nikki Boyd

    .

    GRAND FINAL – PHOENIX v SWIFTS
    Vodafone Arena, Melbourne

    PHOENIX WON 61-44
    (15-12, 28-25, 45-33, 61-44)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Southby
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Dick
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Curran
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    None

    Shooting stats:
    Southby 33/40 83%, McMahon 28/30 93%, TOTAL 61/70 87%

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Anderson
    WA . Ware
    C .. Barrett
    WD . Gilsenan
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    None

    Shooting stats:
    Cox 29/38 76%, Anderson 15/23 65%, TOTAL 44/61 72%

    Penalties: Swifts 73-51
    Rebounds: Phoenix 10-9
    Turnovers: Phoenix 25-24
    Intercepts: Phoenix 16-9

    Player Of The Match: Bianca Chatfield

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Nikki Boyd

    Crowd: 6503

    Phoenix chasing a Swifts victory
    KAREN LYON
    The Age

    MIDWAY through this year, Eloise Southby-Halbish was left wondering how anybody was going to beat the Sydney Swifts.

    The Melbourne Phoenix had fallen to the Sydney champions by 11 goals in their round-six clash and as the Phoenix co-captain remembers, the Swifts hadn’t really played all that well.

    “At the start of the year the Swifts were flying and I thought. ‘How are we ever going to beat them?’,” Southby-Halbish said yesterday.

    Knowing they would face the reigning champions again this season, Phoenix coach Julie Hoornweg and her staff produced dossiers on all the Swifts players, including video highlights of all their performances.

    Those details have turned into positive results for the Phoenix, who finally inflicted the Swifts’ first loss of the year in round 13 with a blowout 17-goal victory, and then followed by winning the major semi-final by two goals in Wollongong a fortnight ago.

    The wins have given Melbourne the unexpected role as host of today’s national league final, the third straight year the Phoenix and Swifts play in the final, although Southby-Halbish is not convinced her team should be the punter’s favourite.

    Yes, she is confident Melbourne can claim its third title in four years. Yes, the two victories have changed all thoughts the Swifts are unbeatable. But favouritism?

    “I think its hard to tell,” she said. “It’s going to be pretty close, it is going to be a red-hot contest.”

    Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald does not believe her team has given up its recent advantage over the Phoenix after being beaten twice by Melbourne in a three-week period. She believes their 20-goal win over Adelaide in the preliminary final restored any lost confidence.

    “It’s never occurred to me that they have the upper hand,” Fitzgerald said. “Last week’s game was really good for us, we really needed that match.”

    Today’s grand final presents several enticing match-ups, the Phoenix shooting combination of Southby-Halbish and goal attack Sharelle McMahon has been in excellent form recently and they will be pitted against national captain Liz Ellis and Alison Broadbent.

    For Melbourne to regain the title, goal keeper Bianca Chatfield will have to cut the influence of star Swifts goal shooter Catherine Cox.

    After being diagnosed with glandular fever in May, Chatfield was restricted in playing time during the early weeks of the season.

    Despite the illness she refused to stop playing and admits now it might have caused the effects to linger longer than necessary. “I just wanted to play and I didn’t want to let anyone down,” she said.

    The goal keeper started to feel well again after the mid-season break. She played her first full game against cross-town rivals the Kestrels in the second of the year’s derbies and celebrated her 100th game with a best-on-court performance against Cox in round 13.

    “Everything just seemed to be falling into place and I was enjoying myself out there and I was just feeling really, really good,” Chatfield said.

    She knows a similar performance against Cox will go a long way to securing the title but expects Sydney to come out smarting after its past two matches against Melbourne.

    “The Swifts are a great team, with awesome players, and we really have to be conscious that they are going to come out and hit us hard,” she said. Shutting down Cox – who leads all scoring for the season with 602 goals at a career best 87 per cent – is one of the big challenges.

    THE FINALISTS

    Played 23
    Melbourne Phoenix 10
    Sydney Swifts 12
    Drawn 1

    This year’s meetings:
    Round 6: Sydney d Melbourne 65-54.
    Round 13: Melbourne d Sydney 57-40.
    Major semi-final: Melbourne d Sydney 49-47.

    Premierships
    Phoenix 4: 2003, 2002, 2000, 1997.
    Swifts 2: 2004, 2001.

    Vengeful Phoenix soar to title
    KAREN LYON
    The Sunday Age

    LAST year’s lost opportunity has become this year’s premiership for the Melbourne Phoenix, who gained their revenge on the Sydney Swifts to claim the Commonwealth Bank Trophy with an emphatic 17-goal victory at Vodafone Arena.

    The victory last night secured the Phoenix their fifth premiership since the national league began in 1997 and cemented Melbourne’s place as the country’s most successful team.

    The final 61-44 scoreline reflected the Phoenix’s second-half domination. Leading by only three goals at half-time, the Phoenix surged in the second half to secure the massive win, the third-biggest margin recorded in a grand final.

    Last season, the Phoenix led by six goals in the final quarter of the grand final before losing the match by a goal. With the trophy again within their grasp yesterday, there was no final-quarter fade-out. But last season’s heartache was a moment Phoenix co-captain Eloise Southby-Halbish used at three-quarter-time to inspire her teammates.

    “It is certainly sweet to win like that,” Southby-Halbish said. “I said that, going into the huddle in the last. I said remember that feeling (from last year), we were up, and I thought it can happen again to us if we didn’t focus on what we had to do and never give up for one second.”

    Melbourne had threatened to blow the game open late in the second quarter. After a torrid physical start, the Phoenix gradually wore the Swifts down. They cut supply to Sydney’s goal combination of Catherine Cox and Megan Anderson, and gradually through Ingrid Dick at centre gained control of the midcourt. The margin had increased to six goals shortly before the break and then Sydney called a time-out to steady the ship, and cut the lead to three.

    In the third term, Melbourne had all the run. Dick, along with Wendy Jacobsen at wing attack and Natasha Chokljat at wing defence, increased the pressure on the Swifts midcourt, and Southby-Halbish and fellow captain Sharelle McMahon hit all 17 of their attempts for the quarter.

    At the other end, Bianca Chatfield was again the general in defence, along with Johannah Curran at goal defence, and they placed massive pressure on Cox and Anderson. The Swifts managed just eight goals from their 13 attempts and Melbourne was on its way to victory.

    Swifts captain Liz Ellis said that term had been pivotal to the result.

    “At half-time we were confident, but the third quarter is so often the championship quarter and we didn’t convert and we didn’t create opportunities. The few we did create we just let go and we had a really poor quarter and you can’t have 15 minutes off with Phoenix.”

    For Melbourne it was a premiership that had appeared improbable six weeks ago when the Phoenix were sitting in third place on the ladder behind the then undefeated Swifts and the Adelaide Thunderbirds. But first-year coach Julie Hoornweg was always confident her team would embrace the new game-plan and come through victorious.

    “That is sometimes the test of a good team, whether you can come through that. There is just too much athleticism and brilliance in this team to hold them down,” Hoornweg said.

    DETAILS

    Melbourne Phoenix 61 d Sydney Swifts 44

    Phoenix: Eloise Southby-Halbish: 33 goals from 40 attempts (83 per cent); Sharelle McMahon: 28 goals from 30 attempts (93 per cent)

    Swifts: Catherine Cox: 29 goals from 38 attempts (76 per cent); Megan Anderson: 15 goals from 23 attempts (65 per cent)

    Phoenix on the rise as Swifts take a tumble
    By Melissa Woods
    The Sun-Herald

    Melbourne Phoenix reclaimed their title as the nation’s best team with a crushing 17-goal win over defending champions the Sydney Swifts yesterday.

    The 61-44 win was the third biggest in grand final history and gave Melbourne their fifth crown since 1997 and their first under rookie coach Julie Hoornweg.

    The victory eased painful memories of last year’s grand final defeat, when the Swifts fought back from six goals down in the final quarter to snatch a one-goal win.

    This year there was no such fightback from the Sydney side.

    Melbourne set up the win with a stunning third-quarter showing, as their lead blew out to 12 goals at the final break.

    Fired-up Phoenix co-captain Eloise Southby-Halbish was unstoppable in the goal circle, slotting 11 goals from 11 attempts in the third term while fellow co-captain Sharelle McMahon also posted a perfect total – six from six.

    Southby-Halbish finished the game with 33 goals, while McMahon slotted 28 to guide the Phoenix home.

    Southby-Halbish, who has played in all five grand final victories, said she was shocked by the winning margin.

    “I knew we were capable of doing that but I certainly didn’t think we would,” she said.

    “Our defensive unit was just on fire and made it easy for us.

    “The winning quarter was the third one when we shot 100 per cent each and we were just determined and it opened up for us.”

    The Melbourne defence, led by goalkeeper Bianca Chatfield, starved the Swifts of scoring opportunities and wing defence Natasha Chokljat and centre Ingrid Dick dominated through the mid-court.

    The Phoenix got off to a good start to take a 15-12 lead at the first break, despite Sydney goal shooter Catherine Cox and goal attack Megan Anderson each landing six goals from six attempts.

    Melbourne extended their lead to six goals midway through the second quarter with McMahon and Southby-Halbish holding off some aggressive defence from Sydney’s Liz Ellis and Alison Broadbent.

    Ellis hurt her ankle during the preliminary final last week but the injury didn’t hamper the Australian captain’s play.

    The Swifts fought back to trail by only three, 28-25, by half-time and appeared to have the momentum. But Melbourne quickly put a stop to that, aided by a growing penalty count and turnover rate from the Sydneysiders and the home side took full control.

    Sydney skipper Ellis said her team was simply off its game and unable to match the Phoenix.

    “The Phoenix played a great game and we didn’t play well,” she said.

    “We felt great before the match and there was no reason not to come out and execute our game plan but I don’t want to take away anything from the Phoenix.”

    #994983
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2006 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    DARTERS
    Sarah Ashmore
    Natalie Avellino
    Karyn Bailey
    Emily Beaton
    Lauren Berger
    Natalie Eden
    Susan Fuhrmann
    Laura Geitz
    Melissa Gorham
    Josephine Janz
    Megan Kelly
    Rachael Knight
    Janelle Lawson
    Clare McMeniman (captain)
    Brierly Parker
    Shannon Priestly
    Nikala Smith
    Kasey Stanaway
    Lauren Tscharke

    FIREBIRDS
    Alissa Castrisos
    Karen Clarke
    Belinda Dever
    Carla Dziwoki
    Michelle Hess
    Amanda Lucas
    Melanie McKenzie
    Joanne Morgan
    Simone Nalatu
    Lauren Nourse
    Jenny O’Connor
    Maleta Roberts
    Meegan Rooney
    Peta Stephens (captain)
    Keirra Trompf

    JAEGERS
    Jane Altschwager (captain)
    Katie Bradstock
    Narelle Eather
    Annabel Gazzoli
    Kimberlee Gilmour
    Alexandra Harding
    Danielle Harvey
    Raegan Jackson
    Emma Koster
    Sally Lampshire
    Sepi Langi
    Tiffany Lincoln
    Jane Menzies
    Cirsty Monaghan
    Kimberley Purcell
    Lara Welham
    Elly Willan

    KESTRELS
    Shae Bolton
    Andrea Booth
    Madison Browne
    Briony Cargill
    Bianca Franklin
    Narelle Garbutt
    Janine Ilitch
    Melanie Kitchin
    Kathleen Knott
    Sharni Layton
    Chelsey Nash (co-captain)
    Amy Steel
    Rebecca Strachan (co-captain)
    Brooke Thompson
    Caitlin Thwaites
    Leah van Rensburg

    ORIOLES
    Helen Aravidis(co-captain)
    Caitlin Bassett
    Emma Beckett
    Kirby Bentley
    Kate Beveridge
    Kodie Blay (co-captain)
    Catherine Devitt
    Melissa Johnston
    Jasmine Keene
    Kym Mitchell
    Stacey Rosman(co-captain)
    Jessica Shynn
    Karin Venter
    Larrissa Willcox

    PHOENIX
    Talei Bari
    Bianca Chatfield (co-captain)
    Natasha Chokljat
    Johannah Curran
    Ingrid Dick
    Renae Hallinan
    Wendy Jacobsen
    Cynna Kydd
    Sharelle McMahon (co-captain)
    Sophie O’Shea
    Lillian O’Sullivan
    Julie Prendergast
    Jessica Thomas
    Carmen Timms
    Sarah Wall
    Hayley Warne

    SWIFTS
    Erin Bell
    Alison Broadbent
    Catherine Cox
    Megan Dehn
    Liz Ellis (captain)
    Mo’onia Gerrard
    Selina Gilsenan
    Kimberlee Green
    Adelaide Johnson
    Samantha May
    Jackie Murphy
    Chelsea Pitman
    Susan Pratley
    Leah Shoard
    Joanne Sutton
    Vanessa Ware

    THUNDERBIRDS
    Mandy Edwards
    Demelza Fellowes
    Jessica Hazel
    Kristen Heinrich
    Felicity Lukeman
    Nadia Mapunda
    Amanda Martin
    Natalie Medhurst
    Kirby Mutton
    Fiona Pointon
    Bianca Reddy
    Peta Scholz
    Laura von Bertouch (captain)
    Natalie von Bertouch
    Carrie Worthley

    .

    Round 1
    Kestrels 35 v Swifts 46
    Firebirds 46 v Phoenix 58
    Darters 37 v Thunderbirds 68
    Orioles 67 v Jaegers 38

    Round 2
    Swifts 71 v Firebirds 38
    Orioles 59 v Kestrels 53
    Thunderbirds 63 v Jaegers 28
    Phoenix 62 v Darters 30

    Round 3
    Firebirds 56 v Kestrels 50
    Thunderbirds 61 v Phoenix 56
    Swifts 52 v Orioles 36
    Jaegers 71 v Darters 35

    Round 4
    Firebirds 44 v Thunderbirds 56
    Darters 39 v Orioles 53
    Kestrels 61 v Jaegers 41
    Phoenix 40 v Swifts 53

    Round 5
    Jaegers 47 v Firebirds 68
    Kestrels 38 v Thunderbirds 68
    Darters 37 v Swifts 59
    Orioles 47 v Phoenix 72

    Round 6
    Jaegers 44 v Swifts 53
    Phoenix 67 v Kestrels 43
    Firebirds 53 v Darters 32
    Thunderbirds 74 v Orioles 44

    Round 7
    Swifts 46 v Thunderbirds 40
    Phoenix 60 v Jaegers 45
    Orioles 56 v Firebirds 59
    Darters 33 v Kestrels 60

    Round 8
    Thunderbirds 53 v Kestrels 47
    Swifts 60 v Darters 30
    Phoenix 66 v Firebirds 42
    Jaegers 55 v Orioles 62

    Round 9
    Firebirds 36 v Swifts 50
    Kestrels 65 v Orioles 52
    Thunderbirds 73 v Darters 27
    Jaegers 48 v Phoenix 49

    Round 10
    Jaegers 51 v Thunderbirds 49
    Kestrels 57 v Firebirds 49
    Darters 41 v Phoenix 70
    Orioles 56 v Swifts 64

    Round 11
    Firebirds 59 v Jaegers 53
    Thunderbirds 49 v Swifts 54
    Orioles 62 v Darters 40
    Kestrels 42 v Phoenix 53

    Round 12
    Firebirds 72 v Orioles 60
    Kestrels 59 v Darters 38
    Phoenix 51 v Thunderbirds 62
    Swifts 42 v Jaegers 38

    Round 13
    Darters 37 v Jaegers 59
    Swifts 57 v Kestrels 46
    Phoenix 71 v Orioles 45
    Thunderbirds 57 v Firebirds 45

    Round 14
    Orioles 48 v Thunderbirds 68
    Jaegers 43 v Kestrels 57
    Swifts 64 v Phoenix 43
    Darters 43 v Firebirds 65

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .14 . . 0 . . 0 . . 771 . . 568 . . +203 . . 135.74 . . 28
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . .11 . . 3 . . 0 . . 841 . . 616 . . +225 . . 136.53 . . 22
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .10 . . 4 . . 0 . . 818 . . 669 . . +149 . . 122.27 . . 20
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 7 . . 7 . . 0 . . 732 . . 756 . . .-24 . . .96.83 . . 14

    —–
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 6 . . 8 . . 0 . . 713 . . 715 . . . -2 . . .99.72 . . 12
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 5 . . 9 . . 0 . . 747 . . 822 . . .-75 . . .90.88 . . 10
    JAEGERS . . . 14 . . 3 . .11 . . 0 . . 661 . . 762 . . -101 . . .86.75 . . .6
    DARTERS . . . 14 . . 0 . .14 . . 0 . . 499 . . 874 . . -375 . . .57.09 . . .0

    .

    MAJOR SEMI FINAL – SWIFTS v THUNDERBIRDS

    SWIFTS WON 52-42
    (13-11, 29-19, 46-26, 52-42)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Pratley
    WA . Green
    C .. Gilsenan
    WD . Gerrard
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    4th Q – Bell GS (Cox), Murphy WD (Broadbent), Gerrard to GD, Ware WA (Gilsenan), Green to C.

    Shooting Stats:
    Cox 29/32 91%, Pratley 21/26 81%, Bell 2/3 67%, TOTAL 52/61 85%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Mutton
    GD . Pointon
    GK . Reddy

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Mutton to WA, L.von Bertouch to C, N.von Bertouch to WD.
    4th Q – Edwards GD (Pointon), Fellowes GK (Reddy), Mutton to WD, L.von Bertouch to WA, N.von Bertouch to C, Medhurst to GS, Heinrich to GA.

    Shooting stats:
    Heinrich 23/31 74%, Medhurst 19/21 90%, TOTAL 42/52 81%

    Umpires: Jacqui Jashari, Kate Wright

    .

    MINOR SEMI FINAL – PHOENIX v FIREBIRDS

    PHOENIX WON 58-56
    (18-7, 26-23, 41-39, 58-56)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . McMahon
    GA . Kydd
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Chokljat
    WD . Curran
    GD . Prendergast
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    During 2nd Q – Kydd to GA, McMahon to GS.
    3rd Q – Dick C (Prendergast), Curran to GD, Chokljat to WD.
    During 3rd Q – Prendergast GD (Curran).

    Shooting Stats:
    Kydd 32/42 76%, McMahon 26/31 84%, TOTAL 58/73 79%

    FIREBIRDS:
    GS . Morgan
    GA . Dever
    WA . Nourse
    C .. Clarke
    WD . Lucas
    GD . Stephens
    GK . McKenzie

    Changes:
    4th Q – Trompf WD (Lucas).

    Shooting stats:
    Morgan 45/54 83%, Dever 11/21 52%, TOTAL 56/75 75%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Nikki Boyd

    .

    PRELIMINARY FINAL – THUNDERBIRDS v PHOENIX

    THUNDERBIRDS WON 60-53
    (16-13, 31-27, 47-40, 60-53)

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Mutton
    GD . Pointon
    GK . Reddy

    Changes:
    None.

    Shooting Stats:
    Medhurst 33/36 92%, Heinrich 27/32 84%, TOTAL 60/68 88%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Kydd
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Dick
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Prendergast
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    2nd Q – Hallinan WD (Dick), Chokljat to C.
    3rd Q – Curran GD (Prendergast).

    Shooting stats:
    Kydd 30/38 79%, McMahon 23/26 88%, TOTAL 53/64 83%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Jacqui Jashari

    .

    GRAND FINAL – SWIFTS v THUNDERBIRDS

    SWIFTS WON 65-36
    (13-10, 28-19, 49-27, 65-36)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Pratley
    WA . Green
    C .. Gilsenan
    WD . Gerrard
    GD . Broadbent
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    None.

    Shooting Stats:
    Cox 39/43 91%, Pratley 26/26 100%, TOTAL 65/69 94%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Heinrich
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Mutton
    GD . Pointon
    GK . Reddy

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Fellowes GK (Reddy), Edwards GD (Mutton), Pointon to WD, Medhurst to GS, Heinrich to GA.
    During 3rd Q – Pointon to GD, Edwards to WD.
    4th Q – Reddy GK (Fellowes), Medhurst to GA, Heinrich to GS.

    Shooting stats:
    Medhurst 20/23 87%, Heinrich 16/22 73%, TOTAL 36/45 80%

    Player of the match: Liz Ellis

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Nikki Boyd

    Crowd 4045

    Ellis vows to bring T-birds to their knees
    Jessica Halloran
    Sydney Morning Herald

    She has had teammates in tears. There is no doubting the determination of Liz Ellis. She spoke to Jessica Halloran ahead of tonight’s netball grand final.

    SHE told of how she bribed a man (with small change) to kiss one of her Sydney teammates in a Perth nightclub recently.

    She told tales of tedious days as a construction lawyer and of how, when another solicitor rambled about the placement of a comma in a contract, she knew she had to quit.

    Liz Ellis, as always, was the centre of attention and entertained her table with her stories at the national league grand final breakfast yesterday.

    But she didn’t have much to giggle about earlier this year.

    It is 10 months to the day that the Swifts captain was wheeled into an operating theatre and given a knee reconstruction.

    But if Sydney win the grand final tonight against the Adelaide Thunderbirds, there will be some redemption for all her pain.

    “It will go a long way to making up towards the stuff I had to go through to get here,” Ellis said. “If we were to win the grand final it would make me feel that things had turned around.”

    That right knee caused Ellis the saddest period of her career when she missed the Commonwealth Games in March.

    She had desperately wanted to be part of the Melbourne Games.

    There were low times when all she wanted was to drink wine and quiz her close friends who had suffered similar injuries, including teammate Alison Broadbent.

    Broadbent, who has endured two knee reconstructions, told her what to expect and the mental hurdles she’d have to overcome.

    “With Ally, she told more of what I should expect,” Ellis said.

    “She didn’t need to give me pep talks or anything because I’m capable of doing that for myself.”

    The pair has been alongside each other on the court for 14 years and form the goal defensive combination for the Swifts.

    When Ellis was crushed by injury on November 1 last year it was a sad moment, said Broadbent.

    “Lizzy couldn’t have picked a worst time for her to have an injury,” Broadbent said.

    “It took a lot of guts for her to sit in the crowd and watch the Commonwealth Games.

    “I don’t know how she did it. My husband and few friends commented that she looked down and that was probably the lowest time.”

    Broadbent pointed out that Ellis has never been dropped. She was always in the state and Australian teams. Everything was perfect – until the knee.

    But, as Ellis has said before, it’s just what she needed.

    “It made me appreciate what I have,” Ellis said.

    This year Ellis has played above her best to lead her team on an unbeaten run to the grand final.

    “She’s been playing her butt off all year just to show she hasn’t missed out too much,” Broadbent said. “She’s probably playing the best netball she’s played and that’s an honest comment.

    “Every game she wants to make a big game of it because you never know when it’s going to stop. I think she’s been a really tough competitor this year.”

    When the pair met, Ellis was a bolshie young woman. And Broadbent?

    “Alison would cry at anything,” Ellis said. “She’d cry because she was so nervous before games.”

    When Broadbent first met Ellis, she thought she was incredibly bossy, and often left the court in tears. “Lizzy likes to take over,” Broadbent said.

    “In some games I was near tears because she used to yell at me on the court. But now I yell back at her and I think she’s got a little bit of respect for me ever since I started yelling at her. I should have learnt that one earlier.”

    There are no quivering lips these days, and Broadbent marvels at her friend’s skill.

    Ellis has a startling impact on the team, according to Broadbent. And when she’s not there? “It’s a little bit quieter,” Broadbent said.

    “She always giving lots of advice before the game and at half-time. She’s always thinking hard and stressing out about what she’s going to say before she takes the court. Everyone looks up to her. She takes that lead. She’s a very team-orientated person. She’s always for the team, she doesn’t care for herself.”

    The defenders have won two Swifts premierships together.

    Broadbent and Ellis, along with wing defender Mo’onia Gerrard and centre Selina Gilsenan, form the most formidable defensive team in the competition, which they believe will drive them to victory over the Thunderbirds.

    Broadbent and Ellis, with all those years of playing alongside each other, are a slick unit.

    “We’ve worked really hard on our communication and we’ve never stopped learning together,” Broadbent said.

    Ellis is proud of what they’ve achieved together.

    “I’m happy with my form, my team and I don’t get frustrated on court anymore,” Ellis said.

    “I had a very average 12 months, I missed the Commonwealth Games, we got our butt kicked in the grand final last year and this [another title] would really go a long way to making up for all of that.”

    Swifts soar into history books with easy victory
    Jessica Halloran
    The Age

    IT WAS the perfect end to a perfect season as the Sydney Swifts held the premiership trophy to create Australian sporting history.

    After smashing the Adelaide Thunderbirds 65-36 last night to win the grand final at Olympic Park Sports Centre, the Swifts became the first team to go through an entire national league season undefeated, winning 16 successive games to lift their third title.

    Not since since rugby league’s St George went through a season unvanquished in 1959 has a club achieved such a feat at national level.

    Swifts shooters Catherine Cox and Susan Pratley had a brilliant night under the net, Pratley scored 26 goals from 26 attempts – Cox 39 from 43.

    But numbers aside, for Sydney captain Liz Ellis last night’s victory meant redemption.

    After a horror 12 months, where she had her right knee reconstructed and missed out on the Commonwealth Games team, Ellis finally felt everything had turned around for her.

    With a team plump with Australian team members – including Cox, Pratley, Gerrard, Gilsenan, Ellis – the side was raging favourite all season.

    Last year, they had a patchy build-up and were humiliated in the grand final by 17 goals by the Melbourne Phoenix. And, so, everything was tense but perfect in the end last night.

    It was a scattered and frenetic start from both teams. But Cox settled early, bagging 11 goals from 11 attempts.

    Against the crack goal defensive combination of Ellis and Alison Broadbent, Thunderbirds’ Kristin Heinrich managed two goals and Natalie Medhurst eight.

    The Swifts started with a small lead of three goals (13-10) in the first term. It was well into the second quarter until Cox missed her first goal but Pratley had found her groove and had not missed a shot, shooting seven from seven in the quarter.

    It got physical up the other end of the court when Ellis flew through the air, cleaning up Thunderbirds centre Natalie von Bertouch, who thumped to the court after the collision.

    While the Thunderbirds were left languishing on the pine, smart work from Selina Gilsenan in the midcourt kept the ball falling into the hands of the Swifts shooters.

    The Swifts went into the long break up by nine goals (28-19).

    In the third, the Swifts started to demolish the Thunderbirds. Defender Mo’onia Gerrard and attacker Kimberlee Green led the way in the midcourt.

    The scoreline blew out in this quarter to 39-22. By the close of the third, the Swifts were up by 22 goals.

    Swifts: perfect, peerless
    Jessica Halloran
    Sydney Morning Herald

    IT WAS the perfect end to a perfect season: the Sydney Swifts claiming the premiership trophy to create Australian sporting history.

    After smashing the Adelaide Thunderbirds by 29 goals last night to win the grand final at Olympic Park Sports Centre, the Swifts became the first team to go through an entire National Netball League season undefeated, winning 16 successive games to lift their third title.

    Not since the great St George rugby league team went through a season unvanquished in 1959 has a club achieved such a feat at national level. Not in AFL. Not in soccer. Not in rugby league or basketball.

    And the Swifts were certainly aware of the magnitude of their achievement, shooter Catherine Cox saying: “The champagne will taste sweeter knowing that we’ve got that accolade behind us.”

    For Thunderbirds coach Marg Angove, there was only the bitter taste of defeat. “It was like a nightmare,” Angove said.

    “We’d done our homework but nothing came off. Physically, we didn’t match them. In defence, we were chasing them all night.”

    Swifts shooters Catherine Cox and Susan Pratley had a brilliant night under the net. Pratley, 22, a recent addition to the Australian team, shot to perfection – scoring 26 goals from 26 attempts. Cox made 39 from 43 attempts.

    But numbers aside, for Sydney captain Liz Ellis last night’s victory meant redemption.

    After a wretched 12 months, in which she had her right knee reconstructed and missed out on the Commonwealth Games team, Ellis finally felt everything had turned around for her.

    The defender and long-time Swifts captain was elated. Ten months since she was being wheeled out of a hospital ward after having her knee surgery, she was hoisting the trophy. “It makes up for so much,” Ellis said. “It gives us back a sense of pride … I think it’s almost the best performance of our last 10 years.”

    With a team plump with Australian team members – including Cox, Pratley, Mo’onia Gerrard, Selina Gilsenan, Ellis – the Swifts were raging favourites all season. But while the notion of being talented and undefeated was supposed to fill them with an air of certainty going into this grand final, it didn’t.

    Ellis said the side was edgy and nervous coming into this one. Players were snapping at each other in training, but that was a good thing, Ellis reasoned.

    They were on edge because of their 2005 grand final experience. Last year, they had a patchy build-up and were humiliated in that grand final by 17 goals by the Melbourne Phoenix.

    So last night was a welcome fork in fortunes.

    It was a frenetic start by both teams, yet by contrast, Cox settled early on, bagging 11 from 11. She became the all-time leading scorer in the competition, surpassed the 4500-goal mark last night when she shot her 16th goal.

    Against the crack goal defensive combination of Ellis and Alison Broadbent, Thunderbirds’ Kristin Heinrich managed two goals and Natalie Medhurst eight.

    The Swifts started off the night well with a lead of three goals, 13-10. It was well into the second quarter until Cox missed her first goal and her precision continued.

    Pratley had found her groove and had not missed a shot shooting seven from seven in this quarter. It got physical up the other end of the court when Ellis flew through the air, cleaning up Thunderbirds centre Natalie Von Bertouch, who thumped to the court after the collision.

    While the Thunderbirds were languishing on the pine, smart work from Gilsenan in the midcourt kept the ball moving into the hands of the Swifts shooters.

    The Swifts went into the long break up by nine goals. In the third the Swifts started to demolish the Thunderbirds. Defender Gerrard and attacker Kimberlee Green led the way in the midcourt. The scoreline blew out in this quarter to 39-22. By the close of the third the Swifts were comfortably up, by 22 goals.

    In the final quarter, Adelaide could not catch the Swifts and history was made.

    #995004
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    2007 COMMONWEALTH BANK TROPHY

    DARTERS
    Helen Barclay
    Sarah Ebbott
    Laura Geitz (captain)
    Josephine Janz
    Jasmine Keene
    Melanie Kitchin
    Reegan Knowles
    Janelle Lawson
    Sharni Layton
    Samantha May
    Rachel Millwood
    Shannon Priestly
    Laura Scherian
    Leah Shoard
    Kasey Stanaway

    FIREBIRDS
    Candice Adams
    Alissa Castrisos
    Karen Clarke
    Belinda Dever
    Carla Dziwoki
    Melanie Groves
    Michelle Hess
    Amanda Lucas
    Clare McMeniman
    Joanne Morgan
    Simone Nalatu
    Lara Nilsson
    Lauren Nourse
    Jenny O’Connor
    Maleta Roberts
    Meegan Rooney
    Peta Stephens (captain)
    Keirra Trompf
    Katie Walker

    JAEGERS
    Vanessa Andrews
    Karyn Bailey
    Kirby Bentley
    Kimberly Borger
    Narelle Eather
    Edwina Gosse
    Maryanne Hamilton
    Alexandra Harding
    Emma Koster
    Tiffany Lincoln
    Jessica Mansell
    Jane Menzies (captain)
    Lauren Russell
    Courtney Tairi
    Lara Welham

    KESTRELS
    Shae Bolton
    Andrea Booth
    Madison Browne
    Rebecca Bulley (co-captain)
    Melinda Cranston
    Bianca Franklin
    Ashlee Howard
    Rachael Knight
    Tamara Luke
    Elissa McLeod
    Chelsey Nash (co-captain)
    Julie Prendergast
    Amy Steel
    Brooke Thompson
    Caitlin Thwaites
    Leah van Rensburg

    ORIOLES
    Caitlin Bassett
    Emma Beckett
    Kate Beveridge
    Kodie Blay
    Susan Fuhrmann
    Andrea Gilmore
    Melissa Johnston
    Kym Mitchell
    Kyra Neal
    Tasha Nykyforak
    Tracey Pemberton
    Helen Riolo
    Stacey Rosman (captain)
    Rebecca Skinner
    Nikala Smith
    Larrissa Willcox

    PHOENIX
    Sarah Ashmore
    Talei Bari
    Bianca Chatfield (co-captain)
    Natasha Chokljat
    Johannah Curran
    Georgie Davenport
    Ingrid Dick
    Renae Hallinan
    Anne Harrison
    Samantha Holt
    Wendy Jacobsen
    Sharelle McMahon (co-captain)
    Sophie O’Shea
    Melissa Rowland
    Abby Sargent
    Fiona Themann
    Sarah Wall

    SWIFTS
    Erin Bell
    Catherine Cox
    Megan Dehn
    Liz Ellis (captain)
    Mo’onia Gerrard
    Selina Gilsenan
    Kimberlee Green
    Adelaide Johnson
    Jackie Murphy
    Kelly Pepper
    Chelsea Pitman
    Susan Pratley
    Kimberley Purcell
    Joanne Sutton
    Julia Symons
    Vanessa Ware
    Amy Wild

    THUNDERBIRDS
    Emily Beaton
    Georgia Beaton
    Mandy Edwards
    Jane Fitzgerald
    Kristen Hughes
    Amanda Martin
    Natalie Medhurst
    Kirby Mutton
    Fiona Pointon
    Bianca Reddy
    Peta Scholz
    Beth Shimmin
    Laura von Bertouch (captain)
    Natalie von Bertouch
    Leigh Waddington
    Carrie Worthey

    .

    Round 1
    Kestrels 41 v Phoenix 46
    Firebirds 50 v Darters 40
    Swifts 54 v Thunderbirds 47
    Jaegers 56 v Orioles 51

    Round 2
    Orioles 45 v Phoenix 60
    Darters 40 v Swifts 47
    Thunderbirds 59 v Jaegers 42
    Firebirds 58 v Kestrels 43

    Round 3
    Orioles 49 v Darters 58
    Thunderbirds 65 v Firebirds 46
    Jaegers 42 v Phoenix 48
    Kestrels 58 v Swifts 44

    Round 4
    Firebirds 51 v Orioles 53
    Jaegers 58 v Swifts 44
    Phoenix 52 v Darters 36
    Kestrels 51 v Thunderbirds 50

    Round 5
    Orioles 40 v Thunderbirds 69
    Swifts 58 v Firebirds 57
    Jaegers 55 v Darters 47
    Kestrels 53 v Jaegers 48
    Phoenix 68 v Swifts 39

    Round 6
    Thunderbirds 48 v Phoenix 62
    Darters 43 v Kestrels 64
    Swifts 57 v Orioles 37
    Firebirds 54 v Jaegers 45

    Round 7
    Thunderbirds 81 v Darters 42
    Orioles 53 v Jaegers 49
    Swifts 55 v Kestrels 50
    Phoenix 67 v Firebirds 50

    Round 8
    Kestrels 50 v Orioles 48
    Thunderbirds 46 v Swifts 48
    Darters 48 v Firebirds 55
    Phoenix 67 v Jaegers 39

    Round 9
    Jaegers 54 v Kestrels 63
    Darters 49 v Orioles 54
    Firebirds 57 v Thunderbirds 56
    Swifts 56 v Phoenix 47
    Phoenix 60 v Orioles 50
    Kestrels 50 v Darters 49

    Round 10
    Orioles 49 v Firebirds 50
    Swifts 63 v Darters 49
    Phoenix 56 v Kestrels 46
    Jaegers 42 v Thunderbirds 58

    Round 11
    Thunderbirds 58 v Orioles 43
    Darters 49 v Jaegers 54
    Firebirds 34 v Swifts 62
    Kestrels 54 v Firebirds 61
    Phoenix 54 v Thunderbirds 46

    Round 12
    Orioles 37 v Swifts 61
    Darters 39 v Phoenix 49
    Thunderbirds 60 v Kestrels 49
    Jaegers 49 v Firebirds 52

    Round 13
    Orioles 45 v Kestrels 54
    Darters 39 v Thunderbirds 61
    Firebirds 44 v Phoenix 65
    Swifts 75 v Jaegers 51

    .

    LADDER

    TEAM. . . . .. P . . W . . L . . D . . . F . . . A . . .+/- . . . . % . . Pts
    PHOENIX . . . 14 . .13 . . 1 . . 0 . . 801 . . 621 . . +189 . . 128.99 . . 26
    SWIFTS .. . . 14 . .11 . . 3 . . 0 . . 763 . . 679 . . .+84 . . 112.37 . . 22
    T’BIRDS . . . 14 . . 8 . . 6 . . 0 . . 804 . . 669 . . +135 . . 120.18 . . 16
    KESTRELS. . . 14 . . 8 . . 6 . . 0 . . 726 . . 717 . . . +9 . . 101.26 . . 16
    —–
    FIREBIRDS . . 14 . . 8 . . 6 . . 0 . . 719 . . 754 . . .-35 . . .95.36 . . 16

    JAEGERS . . . 14 . . 4 . .10 . . 0 . . 684 . . 773 . . .-89 . . .88.49 . . .8
    ORIOLES . . . 14 . . 3 . .11 . . 0 . . 654 . . 782 . . -128 . . .83.63 . . .6
    DARTERS . . . 14 . . 1 . .13 . . 0 . . 628 . . 784 . . -156 . . .80.10 . . .2

    .

    SEMI FINAL 1 – PHOENIX v KESTRELS
    Acer Arena, Sydney

    PHOENIX WON 68-42
    (14-14, 30-26, 48-33, 68-42)

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Sargent
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Chokljat
    WD . Hallinan
    GD . Curran
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Dick C (Hallinan), Chokljat to WD.
    4th Q – Wall WA (Jacobsen).
    During 4th Q – Ashmore GA (Sargent), Jacobsen WA (Wall), McMahon to GS.

    Shooting Stats:
    McMahon 39/43 91%, Sargent 22/29 76%, Ashmore 7/9 78%, TOTAL 68/81 84%

    KESTRELS:
    GS . Thwaites
    GA . Booth
    WA . Browne
    C .. Nash
    WD . Bulley
    GD . Thompson
    GK . Prendergast

    Changes:
    3rd Q – Howard GA (Booth), Browne to C, Nash to WA.
    During 3rd Q – Bolton C (Nash), McLeod WA (Browne), Bulley to GD, Thompson to WD.
    4th Q – Nash WA (Bolton), Cranston GK ( Bulley), McLeod to C, Prendergast to GD.
    During 4th Q – van Rensburg WD (Thompson).

    Shooting stats:
    Thwaites 28/33 85%, Booth 10/14 71%, Howard 4/6 67%, TOTAL 42/53 79%

    Umpires: Paula Ferguson, Kate Wright

    .

    SEMI FINAL 2 – SWIFTS v THUNDERBIRDS
    Acer Arena, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 54-43
    (10-12, 22-22, 37-32, 54-43)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Pratley
    WA . Green
    C .. Gilsenan
    WD . Purcell
    GD . Gerrard
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    During 4th Q – Murphy GD (Gerrard).

    Shooting Stats:
    Cox 32/37 86%, Pratley 22/23 96%, TOTAL 54/60 90%

    THUNDERBIRDS:
    GS . Hughes
    GA . Medhurst
    WA . L.von Bertouch
    C .. N.von Bertouch
    WD . Scholz
    GD . Pointon
    GK . Reddy

    Changes:
    None.

    Shooting stats:
    Medhurst 28/31 90%, Hughes 15/19 79%, TOTAL 43/50 86%

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Jacqui Jashari

    .

    GRAND FINAL – SWIFTS v PHOENIX
    Acer Arena, Sydney

    SWIFTS WON 45-37
    (16-10, 27-19, 34-26, 45-37)

    SWIFTS:
    GS . Cox
    GA . Pratley
    WA . Green
    C .. Gilsenan
    WD . Purcell
    GD . Gerrard
    GK . Ellis

    Changes:
    None.

    Shooting Stats:
    Pratley 23/25 92%, Cox 22/26 85%, TOTAL 45/51 88%

    PHOENIX:
    GS . Sargent
    GA . McMahon
    WA . Jacobsen
    C .. Dick
    WD . Chokljat
    GD . Curran
    GK . Chatfield

    Changes:
    2nd Q – Hallinan WD (Jacobsen), Chokljat to WA.

    Shooting stats:
    McMahon 23/31 74%, Sargent 14/23 61%, TOTAL 37/54 69%

    Player of the match: Selina Gilsenan

    Umpires: Sharon Kelly, Jacqui Jashari

    Crowd 8000

    Tears as Swifts win grand final
    By Amanda Lulham
    Daily Telegraph

    MORE than a decade after two “uncoordinated gumbies” played their first national netball league game together, close friends and Australian teammates Liz Ellis and Cath Cox left the court after the final Commonwealth Bank Trophy game yesterday in tears.

    Emotions kept in check during their almost clinical grand final victory against Melbourne Phoenix overflowed after the match at Acer Arena in Sydney with Ellis and Cox – two of the survivors from the first CBT 11 years ago – embracing tearfully.

    For both, the realisation that the curtain has come down on a era of netball which has helped mould them into the champions they are today was simply overwhelming.

    The CBT will morph into a new-look Tasman Trophy in 2008 involving both Australian and New Zealand clubs.

    This week Cox had reminisced over her first game in the now defunct CBT competition as “a clumsy idiot who couldn’t shoot” – far from her position 11 years later as one of the leading sharpshooters in world netball.

    Ellis had dusted off old files during the week to look at the few newspaper stories chronicling the start of the competition in 1997.

    Coverage was minimal and Ellis was just starting to show signs of the talent which in November will see her lead Australia into battle at the world netball championships in Auckland.

    “This is the sweetest win of all of them,” said Ellis after she and her TAB Swifts teammates claimed the final CBT title – their second on the trot and fourth in 11 years – with their 45-37 victory over minor premiers Melbourne Phoenix in front of an 8000 strong crowd. “It’s special.”

    Cox, whose career has also stretched across the entire 11-year competition, said she still found it hard to believe “what a crap player I was” at the start.

    “I saw some footage recently and nearly died,” she said.

    “I was so bad, an absolutely shocking shooter who averaged about 60 per cent a game . . . uncoordinated and a real gumby.

    “But this competition moulded us into what we are today so it’s sad this was the last game.”

    Sadder though were Melbourne Phoenix stars Sharelle McMahon and Ingrid Dick, who like Cox and Ellis have also played every season of the league.

    They had little to celebrate yesterday after a blindingly fast start by the Swifts left them and their Phoenix teammates reeling – and behind – for the most of the match.

    Sure, confident, controlled and slick from the first touch of the ball, the Swifts gave Phoenix ample warning they would have to produce their best ever netball to take the crown from them.

    And while they tried, it took Phoenix until late in the second quarter to find their feet with the visitors trailing 10-16 at the first break and 19-27 by halftime.

    But a ferocious start to the third quarter put Phoenix back within striking distance, with the Melburnians reducing a 13-goal first-half deficit to just four midway through the period before a late rally saw the Swifts take a 34-26 lead into the break.

    It was a game-winning lead which saw the Swifts win the crown by eight goals in the lowest-scoring grand final in history and their centre, Selina Gilsenan, named Player of the Match.

    Superb shooting by Australian duo Cox and Susan Pratley was integral to the Swifts win with Cox netting 22 from 26 (85 per cent) and Pratley 23 from 25 (92 per cent).

    Fellow Australian shooter McMahon netted 23 from 31 goals at 74 per cent with circle partner Abby Sargeant netting 14 from 23 at 61 per cent.

    The new Tasman Trophy will kick off in April between five teams from Australia and five from New Zealand.

    It is hoped the league, semi-professional in 2008 with top players expected to earn up to $25,000, will in years to come become financially viable enough for netballers to be fully paid professionals – not full-time workers and part-time players.

    “It’s time for this change,” Cox said. “It’s a step in the right direction for players to become professionals.”

    Swifts take finals bow
    WARREN PARTLAND

    THE Sydney Swifts will go into the history books as the last Commonwealth Bank Trophy champions.

    Sparked into action by a superb performance from player-of-the-match Selina Gilsenan, the Swifts drew the curtain on the national league with a convincing 45-37 triumph over the Melbourne Phoenix in Sydney yesterday.

    The competition is now no more, having been replaced by the Tasman Trophy next year.

    Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald, who has been at the helm since the inception of the CBT in 1997, said this premiership meant more to the club than its previous three titles.

    “To have lost this would have been devastating,” she said. “This is the last one and it is very precious to have. This was our last opportunity to go back-to-back

    “It has been such a hard year. And knowing it was the last one; there was so much to achieve. This is very special.”

    Fitzgerald was disappointed with her side’s nervous start against the Adelaide Thunderbirds on Friday night and the Swifts made sure there was no repeat yesterday.

    The Swifts’ delivery into the goal circle was precise and with pace, putting the visitors under enormous pressure.

    After making a statement on the decider with a 16-10 opening quarter, the Swifts refused to relent as they built on their advantage.

    The Phoenix had no answers to their opponents, especially in the attack end where the Swifts defence was resolute and physical.

    Some ordinary umpiring decisions as well as turnovers, mostly the result of opposition pressure, also hampered the Phoenix, who fell behind by 13 goals in the second period.

    In a remarkable momentum swing, the Phoenix cut the deficit to just four in the third quarter on the back of eight unanswered goals.

    That margin should have been even less but goalers Sharelle McMahon and Abby Sargent combined for four successive missed attempts.

    The Swifts were not going to let such a gift from the five-times champion slip and they nailed the opening three goals of the final period to again charge clear.

    “The intensity from both teams in the third quarter was enormous,” Fitzgerald said. “The speed and change of direction was what was getting us over the line and it deserted us a little for that period of time.”

    Swifts death hurts
    Katie Peart
    Herald Sun

    MELBOURNE Phoenix was denied the fairytale ending – bookend premierships – by a switched-on Sydney Swifts on their home turf yesterday.

    The loss was a double blow.

    Compounding their misery, Phoenix players had to come to terms with the death of their club, yesterday’s grand final signalling the end of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, which will be replaced by the Tasman Trophy.

    For Phoenix coach Julie Hoornweg, the 45-37 defeat – in the lowest scoring grand final ever – and the demise of her club had clearly not hit home yet.

    Hoornweg referred to having to “go back to the drawing-board” after the match but quickly corrected herself. “We don’t have to, do we?” she said.

    “We don’t exist any more, that’s it. Gone.”

    Phoenix and Kestrels have now disbanded, replaced by a single Victorian franchise for next year’s 10-team Tasman Trophy.

    Phoenix, the most successful club in the 11-year history of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, had won its first title back in 1997 and was intent on farewelling the competition with the final flag.

    For co-captain Sharelle McMahon, a foundation player along with veteran centre Ingrid Dick, yesterday’s loss was a shattering end to an era, particularly because the five-time champion had had its chances against the Swifts.

    The visitors had three more attempts at goal than the Swifts and trailed by only four goals midway through the third term at Sydney’s Acer Arena.

    “It’s very emotional,” a visibly upset McMahon said. “It’s extremely disappointing, we definitely had more chances throughout the game, which is disappointing but we couldn’t quite make the goals go in when we needed to.

    “I guess reflecting what it means, it’s the end of Phoenix, it’s very sad.”

    Hoornweg said it was an emotionally draining year on several levels for Phoenix and the club had hoped to honour the memory of Burnley tunnel victim Damian McDonald, husband of team manager Bree McDonald, with a win yesterday.

    “I’m so very proud of them, it’s been an honour to coach these players,” she said.

    The amped-up Swifts jumped Phoenix in the first quarter, outscoring their opponents 16-10. Errors at the top of its goal circle and some sloppy delivery cost Phoenix dearly, with Australian defenders Selina Gilsenan, Mo’onia Gerrard and Liz Ellis quick to pounce.

    Hoornweg reacted quickly to try and inject some system in attack, benching wing attack Wendy Jacobsen, introducing wing defence Renae Hallinan and moving Natasha Chokljat from wing defence to wing attack.

    But nothing went Phoenix’s way in the second term. Player of the match, Gilsenan, was first to every loose ball and some dubious umpiring calls went against McMahon in a torrid goal circle, dominated by Ellis and Gerrard.

    Swifts goalers Cath Cox and Susan Pratley missed only one goal between them for the first half, propelling the home side to a 27-19 halftime lead.

    Successive intercepts by Hallinan at the start of the third quarter gave Phoenix some hope, and midway through that term it had pulled back the deficit to four goals.

    But the opportunity went begging as McMahon and goal shooter Abby Sargent missed four shots in a row.

    “I think that probably was our chance,” McMahon said. “When you’re eight goals down at three-quarter time, it’s very hard to get back against a team like Sydney, not impossible, but very difficult and we needed to make the most of that.”

    Ellis and Gerrard put Sargent (14 goals at 61 per cent) and McMahon (23 goals at 74 per cent) under tremendous pressure with their nagging defence.

    Unable to convert the opportunities, Phoenix trailed 34-26 at three-quarter time.

    While Ellis described the victory as “the sweetest” of the four premierships she has won, Hoornweg said it was probably her greatest disappointment.

    “That’s what it’s all about, history can be history, but you have to step up and play and we didn’t step up today. It’s disappointing for the girls, they’re great athletes, they’re great teammates, they’re great people.”

    #995005
    Ian
    • Posts: 14319

    Member since:
    Feb 3, 2007

    AWARDS

    CBT MVP

    1997 – Not awarded
    1998 – Liz Ellis
    1999 – Jacqui Delaney
    2000 – Sharelle McMahon
    2001 – Jacqui Delaney
    2002 – Liz Ellis
    2003 – Sharelle McMahon
    2004 – Cynna Neele
    2005 – Sharelle McMahon
    2006 – Liz Ellis
    2007 – Sharelle McMahon

    CBT BEST NEW TALENT

    1997 – Not awarded
    1998 – Natalie Sloane
    1999 – Mo’onia Gerrard
    2000 – Cynna Neele
    2001 – Jane Altschwager
    2002 – Mandy Edwards
    2003 – Carla Dziwoki
    2004 – Julie Prendergast
    2005 – Clare McMeniman
    2006 – Madison Browne
    2007 – Ashlee Howard

    .

    MOST GAMES
    (Top 25 players by number of CBT games)

    173 – Liz Ellis (680 qtrs)
    169 – Sharelle McMahon (603 qtrs)
    169 – Peta Scholz (649 qtrs)
    160 – Catherine Cox (592 qtrs)
    152 – Alison Broadbent (562 qtrs)
    141 – Megan Dehn (519 qtrs)
    141 – Ingrid Dick (376 qtrs)
    136 – Natasha Chokjlat (475 qtrs)
    133 – Bianca Chatfield (472 qtrs)
    132 – Eloise Southby-Halbish (461 qtrs)
    127 – Joanne Morgan (441 qtrs)
    124 – Kristen Hughes (431 qtrs)
    121 – Selina Gilsenan (461 qtrs)
    120 – Susan Meaney (370 qtrs)
    115 – Alex Hodge (392 qtrs)
    115 – Janine Ilitch (421 qtrs)
    115 – Wendy Jacobsen (301 qtrs)
    114 – Narelle Garbutt (393 qtrs)
    114 – Kathryn Harby-Williams (451 qtrs)
    113 – Rebecca Sanders (427 qtrs)
    108 – Peta Stephens (381 qtrs)
    107 – Laura von Bertouch (360 qtrs)
    107 – Alison Tucker (391 qtrs)
    106 – Raegan Jackson (371 qtrs)
    100 – Natalie Avellino (335 qtrs)

    .

    MOST GOALS
    (Top 25 shooters by number of CBT goals)

    4893 – Sharelle McMahon (84%, Ave 29.0)
    4826 – Catherine Cox (79%, Ave 30.2)
    4250 – Joanne Morgan (80%, Ave 33.5)
    3151 – Eloise Southby-Halbish (81%, Ave 23.9)
    2827 – Kristen Hughes (77%, Ave 22.8)
    2774 – Jacqui Delaney ( 75%, Ave 29.2)
    2507 – Megan Dehn (75%, ave 21.6)
    2501 – Cynna Kydd (77%, Ave 28.1)
    1907 – Jane Altschwager (76%, Ave 23.5)
    1594 – Natalie Sloane (76%, Ave 19.0)
    1584 – Susan Pratley (81%, Ave 19.3)
    1580 – Sharon Durbridge (76%, Ave 21.6)
    1547 – Natalie Medhurst (87%, Ave 25.0)
    1546 – Jennifer Borlase (85%, Ave 36.0)
    1478 – Vicki Wilson (85%, Ave 36.0)
    1254 – Natalie Avellino (75%, Ave 16.7)
    1108 – Amanda Burton (79%, Ave 18.2)
    1064 – Caitlin Bassett (78%, Ave 33.3)
    1064 – Caitlin Thwaites (84%, Ave 23.6)
    1005 – Carla Dziwoki (82%, Ave 17.0)
    1005 – Cassie Martin (76%, Ave 18.6)
    990 – Jocelyn Bryant (80%, Ave 24.1)
    974 – Lara Welham (78%, Ave 17.4)
    911 – Belinda Dever (71%, Ave 12.7)
    892 – Carla Stuart (78%, Ave 21.8)

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