Nova have moved to an undefeated 4–0 record in the Newcastle Netball top grade after the Thunder staged a fourth-quarter comeback against West Leagues Balance in a round of gruelling competitive battles at National Park.
The ladies in green have enjoyed a rapid-fire start to their 2020 campaign, and have now added another gem to their undefeated championship crown in the form of the three-time defending champs West Leagues.
A young West Leagues outfit were in the lead in the opening quarters in the early Greater Club Championship time slot. The champs clocked up a 10–7 first stanza, before Nova locked up the battle 20–20 at the half.
Wests were able to find their advantage again in the third, shooting 16 to Nova’s 13. Thunder came home late, however, with a 13–6 final quarter that clinched the Round 5 comeback for the undefeated Newcastle Netball contenders.
Nova aren’t alone in their undefeated run, however. University, who led most of the 2019 season as Forsythes, have also ticked off four from four in the top grade. Most recently, the UON squad locked horns with Souths, who now drop to a 3–1 record.
The Lions nearly pulled off a similar comeback to Nova, cutting a weighty nine-goal deficit after the second quarter to just five with a 15–11 run in the third, but UON held firm in the last, 12–11.
The six-goal loss bumps the young Souths squad into third place, still a win clear of Inner Glow. The fourth-placed newcomers may lie in wait behind the Lions after their own 38–35 win over Junction, their second on the bounce after they got off the mark last weekend against Kotara South by just a single goal.
Speaking of one-goal victories, BNC enjoyed their first win of the season after a second-half run clinched their 33–32 win over Kotara.
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Whanau and the Tigers were locked at 10–10, then 19–19 in the first two quarters, but BNC were able to pull away to a three-goal lead in the third, before holding firm in the last to clinch the win, despite Kotara edging the quarter 6–4.
The Tigers’ loss leaves three teams on a 1–3 record; Kotara, West Leagues, and BNC have all enjoyed just a single win so far this season. Junction sit behind on 0–4, though they do have just two competitive points less than the threeway pack.
Nova’s victory also pairs with the club’s Opens and 23s results to fire them into 31 points in the Club Championship, in first place. They are currently tied with Souths, whose 23s have enjoyed an undefeated start to the combined year.
University sits three points behind, thanks to their 4-0 top-grade record, and their 3-1 run in the 23s. They are followed behind by West Leagues, who have seen their Opens team (4–0) prop up half of their championship points so far.
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: Nova, Souths (31), University (28), West Leagues (24), Inner Glow, BNC (20), Kotara, Junction (11).