Fury lose season opener
Friday August 10, 2012
2012 Australian Netball League
The Victoria Fury opened their 2012 ANL campaign with a scrappy 51-46 loss to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Melbourne tonight.
Fury won the first three premierships in the competition’s history before missing out on a Grand Final birth last year and were looking to get this year’s season off to a good start against a young, talented AIS team.
The young AIS team caused a shock as they raced to a five goal lead early as Fury struggled to contain a fast midcourt, who fed the ball with ease to Kristine Brice (goal shooter). A late opening quarter revival helped to bring some respectability for the home side, but Fury trailed 17-11 at quarter time.
Fury worked their way back into the game with four early goals but the AIS continued to power away with slick passing, defensive pressure and continual pinpoint feeding to Brice. With five minutes to go, the AIS led by five goals and Fury showed some improvement but stilled trailed 27-22 at half time.
The second half featured much better netball from the Fury that included an ability to string together consistent passing across court.
No more than four goals separated the two teams for much of the third quarter as Fury were a much better side after half-time. The Fury trimmed the visitor’s lead to four goals as momentum swung their way and it looked like they were chance to come from behind, two late goals from Brice pushed the AIS lead out to six 39-33 at the final break.
Despite continually closing the gap, Fury were unable to match the scoreboard and defensive pressure from the youthful AIS team.
Fury captain Kasey Stanaway was disappointed with her team’s poor start to the game.
“We had a shocking start. We didn’t have the answers to their dominant goaler (Kristine Brice) and from there we ended up just chasing.
“Our ball handling skills weren’t up to the standard that we’d like.
“There were definitely times where we were one goal down and had an opportunity to even the scores but we just made silly mistakes.”
One positive to come out of the game was the Fury’s second half revival.
“We didn’t adjust quickly enough to their style of play but a positive was that we did come back into the game,” said Fury coach Cath Fellows.
“We had opportunities to win the game and we should have, it’s a very disappointing start for us.”
For the Fury, former Melbourne Vixens goal shooter Kathleen Knott shot 33 goals from 38 attempts at 87 per cent accuracy and combined well with current Vixen Ashlee Howard (10/11 at 83 per cent). Sarah Main (3/4 at 75 per cent) replaced Howard during the third quarter.
Brice (40/41 at 91 per cent) was a tower of strength at goal shooter for the AIS.
Kelsey Browne was a standout in a losing Fury side in her first full game back following foot surgery, her pace and passing were impressive at wing attack. For the AIS, Brice’s performance was reminiscent of a young Caitlin Thwaites playing for the Melbourne Kestrels.
Fury now travel to the Aurora Sports Stadium in Hobart to face the Tassie Spirit tomorrow afternoon and NSW Blues on Sunday morning.
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