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MATCH REPORT: Bull Sharks v Tigers

MATCH REPORT: Bull Sharks v Tigers

It was a feast of sensational, nail-biting netball this weekend, kicking off with the Northern Rays delivering their season-best performance against the Jets. Even though the result went against them, the team gave an impressive effort, going down 41 to 55 in Mackay but not before claiming their second bonus point winning the last quarter.   

Onto the Firebirds who played their best game of the season Saturday afternoon and fought to the very last second, going down by one heartbreaking goal to second-on-the-ladder NSW Swifts, 64 to 65. 

The trend continued today, with the ladder-climbing Bond University Bull Sharks taking on the Carina Leagues Club Tigers. 

The Bull Sharks are riding a strong current home to the finals with the power of star South African import Sigi Burger propelling them along, while regular finalists the Carina Leagues Club Tigers have been inconsistent this season.  Both teams are locked in a battle to secure a finals berth in October.  With just four rounds of regular Sapphire season netball to go, the stakes are getting higher with every round.

Q1 Bull Sharks dominate

From the opening minutes, the early indications were that the Bond University Bullsharks would run away with the game. Their attack dominated and, like a five-star general, Burger marshalled her troops from the shooting circle with trademark booming calls.

By contrast, the Tigers attack seemed lacklustre. Loose balls and slow, looping passes that were easily intercepted or tipped off their trajectory led to turnovers that the Bullsharks did not squander so that by the first quarter break, the Bullsharks were led 19-10 and claimed the first of the bonus points.

If the first quarter was any indication, the rest of the game was going to be a show of strength from the Bull Sharks.

But the Tigers had other plans. 

Q2 Fightback begins

From the second quarter, shooters Amy Sommerville and Alexia Baker found their rhythm. Sommerville became bolder and was sinking long bombs from all around the circle.

In the defensive end, young Elite Development Squad member, Lilly Gribble was matched up with Burger and performed admirably. Tensions rose but Gribble did not take a backward step in the face of Burger’s laser focus. By the third quarter, Gribble was starting to have impact – two held-balls called as Bullsharks feeders and shooters struggled for open space.

By half time the Tigers had narrowed the gap and the scoreboard read 26 – 30 to the Bull Sharks.

Q3 Pressure builds

The third quarter was all Tigers with a strong attack that seemed to have cracked the Bull Sharks strategic secrets. A hectic mid-court supported the goal shooters and the Bull Sharks’ lead narrowed even further.

At three-quarter time the score was 44-45.

Q4 Frenetic Finish

The fourth quarter was a fast-paced affair, with precise passes and accurate shooting the order of the day.

With three minutes to go the Bullsharks were edging ahead, with four goals clear on the scoreboard.  Star shooter, Burger was called for an infraction and the ball turned over, breaking their rhythm and changing the momentum of the game.  

The Tigers wasted no time and sent the ball down to Sommerville in three passes, to be converted. This was the trigger the Tigers needed and they converted their own centre pass and the next Bullsharks centre pass, fuelled be renewed determination.

With a minute to go, the Bullsharks had possession but Haigh intercepted and sent the ball rocketing down court to Sommerville, who converted and brought the scores to 54-apiece. The full-time siren sounded and it was a draw. The result is enough to put the Tigers into the top four on the ladder, pushing the Bullsharks down to fifth place.

Score: 54-54

Points:  

  • Tigers: 11
  • Bullsharks: 7

Shooting statistics:

Tigers: 89% (54/61)
Sommerville: 92% (44/48)
Baker: 77% (10/13)

Bullsharks: 87% (54/62)
Burger: 96% (49/51)
Pue: 45% (5/11)

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