Mixed bag of results sets up enthralling final day

THE first day of finals at the 2023 Australian Netball Championships really saw it all. Big wins, small wins, surprise wins, it had the lot.

Capital Darters (67) defeated Territory Storm (39)

The Capital Darters finally picked up their first win of the 2023 tournament with a big win over the Territory Storm. It was a big second and final term that helped set up the win for the Darters, with a 19 goals to seven and 18 goals to five scoreline respectively.

Favour Lokudu (five gains, three intercepts, two deflections) shone in defence for the Darters, as did Nalani Makunde (49 goals from 51 attempts) up the other end.

Meanwhile Jasmyn Hewett (four gains, three deflections, two intercepts) finished her campaign with another strong performance, while Brittany Daly (24 feeds, four assists, three deflections, one gain) had a great game in mid court.

Sunshine Coast Lightning Bolts (60) defeated Firebirds Futures (59)

In a hard fought battle of the Queensland teams, it was the Lightning Bolts who narrowly prevailed. The Firebirds had the better start, but the Lightning Bolts fought back to take the win.

Ash Ervin (seven deflections, six gains, three rebounds) and Maddie Hinchliffe (24 feeds, 17 assists) again proved that perhaps they don’t belong in this competition with more strong performances.

Meanwhile for the Firebirds Maddi Ridley (eight gains, seven feeds, three assists, three gains) had quite the influence on the game, as did Ashlee Barnett (five deflections, three gains, three intercepts).

Vic Fury (53) defeated GIANTS Academy (49)

In another close fought battle, it was the Victorians who prevailed by four goals. In a seesawing affair, it was ultimately the first quarter that made all the difference.

Zara Walters (45 feeds, 27 assists) again shone for the Fury, while Emily Andrew (33 goals from 39 attempts) also had a solid game under the ring.

Meanwhile for the GIANTS, Millie Roach (38 goals from 42 attempts) had a solid game in attack, while Erin O’Brien (six gains, five rebounds, three deflections) shone in defence.

Collingwood (60) defeated West Coast Fever Reserves (47)

Collingwood is through to the grand final of the 2023 championships after a solid win over the Fever Reserves. A strong first and third quarter made the difference for the Magpies as the second and fourth quarters ultimately cancelled each other out.

Sophie Hanrahan (eight gains, six rebounds) had a stellar game in defence for the Magpies, as did Olivia Wilkinson (46 goals from 47 attempts) up the other end.

Meanwhile for the Fever it was again Liz Dronfield (seven deflections, four gains, one intercept) and Jordan Cransberg (25 feeds, 17 assists) who starred.

Swifts Academy (58) defeated Thunderbirds Futures (51)

In a bit of an upset, the Swifts Academy are also through to the grand final after a hard fought win over the Thunderbirds. In a match of momentum swings, it was the Swifts who ultimately prevailed.

Teigan O’Shannassy (eight gains, seven intercepts, six deflections) had a huge game in defence for the Swifts, as did Jessical Conlan (30 feeds, 22 assists) in midcourt.

Meanwhile for the Thunderbirds it was Molly Watson (four gains, four intercepts, two deflections) and Tyler Orr (33 feeds, 18 assists) who again starred.

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