Sharks dominate in a top-of-the-table clash

The Coastal Sharks have dominated the Perth Lions in a top of the table clash, taking the match 55-41.

The 14-goal margin saw the Lions, who were chasing the Sharks by just one point on the West Australian Netball League ladder before this round, now move from second to third.

This round of the West Australian Netball League season was donned the ‘History and Heritage Round’ and for Coastals new head coach Terri Nielsen, the winning club is the place to be.

“I’m pretty fresh with Coastals, this being my first year,” said Nielsen.

“I don’t have any good stories or anything, but I know I have been given an amazing opportunity and I’m very thankful to the club for giving me that.”

It was the Lions who scored early, some rapid play on the transition proving vital in their opening quarter. Some impressive work from goal keeper Sunday Aryang added to the Lions defence, but the work of the Coastals attack line soon became dominant.

“For us this week was about sustaining those four quarters of netball. Our start today was still a little bit slow which isn’t ideal,” Nielsen said.

“What the girls are doing is persevering throughout the quarter and making it through to the breaks.”

The combination building between Emma Cosh and Grace Parker continues to develop game-by-game, offering feeders Brittany Turnbull and Courtney Kruta plenty of options. With the momentum swinging towards the side of the Sharks, Lions attack began forcing the feeds into the goal circle and the margin stretched out to three goals. A final push from Lions shooters Tess Cransberg and Madison Schultz saw the Lions scrape one back, the score sitting at 12-10 in favour of the Sharks at quarter time.

The Sharks continued to impress early in the second quarter, their attack stepping up their intensity and defence increasing their pressure downcourt. The height of Parker in the goal circle was a commonly used target that scored 9 of the sides 13 goals for the quarter. The Lions defence stepped up to the challenge, Aryang inspiring her team to lift. Alice Coakley did the same, the battle between her and Cosh a fiery one. The full court pressure seemed to increase, the game getting more physical as the minutes passed. The play down court was contested, both teams being held up on their transition. The Sharks managed to maintain their lead going into the main break, the score resting at 25-20.

It was the third quarter that saw the Sharks run the game away, scoring 18 goals to Lions 8. Both the attack and defence from the Coastal side lifted, with duo Jessica Penny and Olivia Lewis turning over ball left and right. The long feeds into Parker began to improve and Cosh’s drives into the circle created an alternate route to post for the Sharks. The Lions defence were left answerless, forced to continue the hard work off the ball in hopes of creating the errors. The dominate quarter saw the Sharks leading 43-28.

“We really asked, specifically our circle defenders, to work hard on repeated efforts and to gain the front space, they really had to lift their work rate,” said Nielsen.

“That full court pressure is something else we’ve really looked at all season. When it keeps building we can create turnovers from it.”

The struggle continued for the Lions in the final quarter, but the last 15 did see the pressure let off slightly. The Lions, taking the final quarter 13-12, managed to convert more of their turnovers with speed from centre Lindal Rohde combining well with Sloan Burton in goal attack. Morgan Millar entered the game for the Sharks in goal attack and comfortably fit into the line up for the final term. In the end it was Coastals who took the game 55-41.

The Sharks will go on to play Wheatbelt Flames on Tuesday night at 7:30pm, and earlier that night we’ll see the Perth Lions searching for another win against the Souwest Jets.


Shooting Stats:

Sharks: 55/64, 86%

  1. Parker: 43/47, 91%
  2. Cosh: 9/13, 69%
  3. Millar: 3/4, 75%

Lions: 41/59, 69%

  1. Schultz: 22/32, 69%
  2. Cransberg: 6/11, 55%
  3. Burton: 13/16, 81%