State’s best netballers descend on Townsville for City v Country clash

Country is brimming with confidence as they prepare to take to the court in front of a parochial home crowd for game two of the Queensland State Netball League (QSNL) City v Country series in Townsville on Saturday.

After City dominated the first quarter on Gold Coast, Country’s connections began to click through frames two to four despite a 49-31 loss to their rivals.

Country coach Margie Sugars said the team hopes to carry the momentum through to this week’s make or break clash.

“There were some nerves and some uneasiness and the links hadn’t quite gelled,” Sugars said.

“We found patience is key in the attacking end. With the great defence City put forward, we found if we took the time to work the ball into our shooters, the opportunities came and we took them.

“We are hoping for that bigger home crowd that will give us a big backing. We love the intensity and we want to hold our own, stand up and ultimately go for the win.”

QSNL is the state’s premier netball league, equivalent to rugby league’s Intrust Super Cup, with many of the Firebirds current crop including Gretel Tippett, Gabi Simpson and Laura Clemesha making their names in the competition.

City coach Lauren Forbes said the City vs Country series provided an invaluable opportunity for players to grow their reputation and spread the reach of elite netball.

“This game might as well be state of origin for both teams. There’s a real desire to win the inaugural series and start a strong annual rivalry,” Forbes said.

“While we played well in the first quarter on the Gold Coast, we lost our composure in two and three. Country are hard to the ball and compete for every second. It will be important for us to stay composed and continue to develop our game as a team.

“We expect a tough game in front of a great crowd.”

The City v Country kicks off from 6pm on Saturday 11 June at Townsville Basketball Stadium. Tickets from $2 at the door. All media are welcome. Please contact Netball Queensland for accreditation.