Victoria has cemented their favouritism for the 19/U DealsDirect.com.au National Netball title with a thrilling three-goal victory over South Australia.
SA had all the momentum early but the depth of the Victorian side shone through with last yearís Grand Finalistís dominating the second half, holding off a fast finishing SA.
In front of a vocal home crowd SA meant business in the first quarter rushing to a two-goal lead in the opening minutes.
As VIC settled into the match their goals started to tick over with the cool head of Stepahnie Puopolo a beacon at goal attack.
Down the other end, SA shooters Laura Marslen and Laura Packard provided a focus in attack for their feeders.
As the quarter continued tall timbre goal shooter Rebecca Scott became more influential in the game, keeping the goals coming for VIC.
The home favourites took a two goal lead into the first break.
SA opened the scoring in the second quarter with centre Lyndall Crichton dominating through the middle.
With Scott picking up where she left off in the first quarter the Victorians soon took the lead for the first time in the match.
The impressive SA defensive combination of Kate Shimmin and Chloe Joyce ensured the score line didnít blow out with the pairís deflections and interceptions thrilling the crowd.
VIC went into the main change a goal ahead with both sides showing periods of dominance in the first half.
To start the third quarter SA shifted wing attack Lenise McIntyre to centre and Crichton to wing attack while Scott was replaced by Nicole Lindley in shooter for VIC.
Lindley had an instant impact with the agile shooter helping VIC to their biggest lead of the game so far.
With VIC defenders Micaela Wilson and Mary Livesey causing headaches for the SA shooters, errors began to creep into the home favourites game.
An injury time brought Melissa Fuge into the game replacing Marslen and Leah Thompson into centre.
With Joyce and Shimmin working overtime to keep SA in the match, VIC pulled out to a five goal lead with four minutes to go.
A morale boosting goal on the three-quarter time for SA kept them in the game with the South Australians facing a 20-16 score line.
The third quarter brought Scott back into the game while Fuge began to fire for SA down the other end of the court.
Going goal for goal, both wing defences did their part to keep the crowd entertained with turnovers at both end of the courts.
As the minutes ticked down, SA mounted a late charge lead by Thompson in the middle and their captain Shimmin with the South Australians slowly eating away at their margin.
However it was a case of too little too late, with the work of Puopolo and Scott able to steady Victoria for a 27-24 win.
VIC will face Tasmania tomorrow while SA takes on Northern Territory in Round 5.
Game Sheet | 1st Qtr| 2nd Qtr| 3rd Qtr| 4th Qtr
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