The Queensland Fusion will play off for third place tomorrow after going down to the 2014 Champions, the Victorian Fury 37-62 in the Australian Netball League Semi-Final in Melbourne.
The Fury have recorded their 31st straight win and progressed to the Australian Netball League grand final.
With the first of the finals matches being played between the first place Victorian Fury and the fourth placed Queensland Fusion.
The experienced campaigners for the Fury settled first and were dominant early in the match, with captain Elle Bennetts and defender Joanna Weston impressive in defence.
It was all Fury early in the match, with the Victorian team taking a 7 – 2 lead mid-way through the first quarter, which they extended to eight goals by the first break.
The fury continued their form going into the second quarter, with goal keeper Fiona Themann menacing the Queensland side in defence.
Fury’s Elle Bennetts and Fusion’s Mahlia Cassidy were engaged in a great tussle at centre, with both players fighting hard to get the ball.
With the lead extending out to 10 goals the Fusion rallied to bring it back to seven off the back of their defenders Laura Clemesha and Madeleine Walsh, however it was a temporary reprieve, with the Fury bouncing back to a 12 goal lead.
By half-time the score was back to 10 goals, 28 – 18.
A series of errors by both teams started the second half, with both teams opting to make changes to their line-up.
It was the Fusion who would settle first, with the swapping of Abigail Latu-Meafou and Cara Koenen in the shooting end paying dividends, whilst the introduction of Hulita Haukinima into goal defence gave the Fusion an extra spark in defence.
With their defence beginning to anticipate Victoria’s attack, the Queensland side were able to create many turnovers however were unable to get it to their attacking end, enabling the Fury to continue to extend their lead to 17 by the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was dominated by the Fury, with the Victorian side scoring three quick goals to open the final term and make the lead 20 goals.
With the margin settling around the 20 goal margin, a time-out called by Fury wing attack, Kelsey Browne saw the Queensland team come-out with a new energy, however were unable to cut the deficit.
With the win out-of-reach for the Fusion, the Fury were able to continue extending their margin to 25 goals and claim the win to progress to the grand final.
The second final of the night, between the Southern Force and Western Sting will determine the Fury’s opponent in the grand final whilst the Fusion will play the loser in the battle for third place.
Cara Koenen 13/17
Abigail Latu-Meafou 20/24
Dominique Scott 4/4