Illawarra netballers deliver in NSW second tier resurgence

NETBALL

Illawarra netball proved a point to their rivals at the NSW championships, bouncing back from a disappointing start to the carnival to finish atop the second tier standings in the open division.

After missing out on the top-eight grouping when the division was split in two after Sunday's round at Campbelltown, Illawarra delivered on their promise to finish the tournament in style, winning all eight of their Monday fixtures to leave with 14 victories and earn 29 points overall.

In the process, they scored an impressive 415 goals to be among the best attacking teams at the State carnival at Campbelltown.

Orange took out the open competition, losing just two of their 22 games.

"We were hoping to be a little bit higher and be among the top group," Illawarra coach Cath Jones said.

"We lost a couple of games by one goal early on and had a couple of injuries, which didn't help.

"But we were much more determined on the Monday and made sure we finished ninth on top of that second group of teams."

Mid-court player Sophie Schetor was among the Illawarra's stars, battling through much of the tournament with an injured ankle.

Defender Annabel Bretag and shooter Hannah Binks also stood out.

The Illawarra under-17 team lost just three games during the NSW netball carnival to finish third overall.

Their only losses came against eventual champions Gosford (23-16) and a narrow defeat to Wyong (14-13), but they finished the carnival on Monday with a stunning 26-24 victory over second-placed Manly-Warringah.

With under 17 the shining light of the campaign, Illawarra's open team also showed some impressive attacking potency in finishing atop the State titles second-tier standings.

The open division was split into two groups, and Illawarra finished with 29 points after 14 wins and seven losses.

Meanwhile, the Illawarra state league division three team take on Sydney's competition leaders Northern Suburbs this weekend.

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