USW netball champions complete unbeaten season with dominant varsity triumph

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26: Players challenge for the ball during the ANZ Championship Grand Final between the Melbourne Vixens and the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Hisense Arena on July 26, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

By Joe Tunney

It was a day to remember for USW Netball as the side completed the double after a 60-17 thrashing of UWE at the Sport Park, thanks to a dominant performance from goal-attack Ali Chan.

Chan was superb in the three quarters where she scored 32 points as USW made history by going unbeaten throughout the season.

Chan opened the scoring in just the second minute, forming a lethal partnership with goal-shooter Madi Neye.

The two combined to strike15 points in the first quarter, with a succession of penalties given away by UWE allowing USW to pile on the pressure.

Goal-defence Molly Care, as well as defender Molly Howarth, made a number of crucial interventions in keeping UWE at bay, despite the best efforts of visitors’ Emilia Wareham and Mia Purdy in the UWE attack.

So solid was the rearguard action that UWE were limited to single figures in all four quarters.

Chan and Neye continued brilliantly in the second quarter, as the duo set each other up a staggering nine times.

This was followed by superb passing shown by win- attack Cerys Bush, who set four up.

It was another strong defensive set that laid the platform however, with Care totalling four interceptions in the second quarter alone.

By the end of the second quarter, Chan was up to 20, followed by Neye on 11. UWE struck back with two from Wareham and three from Purdy, but ultimately lacked the discipline to compete on the day, giving away 13 penalties in the second quarter.

Just two goals in the third quarter from UWE destroyed any chance they had of making a comeback, with the away side unable to mount any pressure thanks to the efforts of Wareham, who impressively matched her previous total with another four interceptions, two of which led to Chan finding the basket.

Chan was moved to goal-shooter for the third but showed no signs of slowing down as she struck a dozen times, finishing off an exceptional individual display. Center Lily Jones also impressed with three assists and five interceptions in this quarter.

In the fourth and final quarter, USW passed the half-century as replacement attackers Elin Barwick and Natalie Mackay compiled another 15 points.

This was coupled with a fine last quarter from Wareham who completed another four interceptions, including one leading to a pass two quarters long which found Mackay who struck.

USW finished the stronger of the two sides and were proudly crowned varsity champions at the end of the game.