Sydney Redbacks (B) 5 – 12 Newcastle Royals (B)
Redbacks: Elise, Gemma, Joey, Nancy, Neha, Kate, Ben, Mark, Rob, Sam, Tom B, Tomás
Goals: Joey, Gemma, Mark (pen), Sam, Kate
The first game of the NSW 2018 korfball series got underway with a high quality, high scoring game. Newcastle took the lead early before Joey shot from close range to get the Redbacks first goal of the season. Sydney then created multiple chances but showed signs of early season rustiness as Newcastle took a 4-1 lead. As the half-time whistle neared, Gemma found space and sunk a mid-range shot to make it 4-2 at half-time.
After half-time, Neha made a good move to be clean through for a runner – getting fouled in the process, with Mark coolly stepping up to convert and bring Sydney to within one goal. However, Newcastle then hit a hot streak, stretching the lead out before Sam managed to get the better of his opponent under the basket to make it 9-4. The moment of the game arrived when Kate sunk a long shot to cap a great debut display to take the Redbacks to 5, however, Newcastle ran out worthy winners 12-5.
A fighting display from Sydney, but ultimately not good enough to take the first win of the season against a strong Royals team.
Sydney Redback (A) 10 – 8 Newcastle Royals (A)
Redbacks: Amber, Joey, Nancy, Sarah, Victoria, Clinton, Graham, Sam, Tomás, Tom
Goals: Victoria (2), Amber, Graham (3 (2pens)), Tomas, Clinton (2 (1pen)), Tom
With the big guns on the court, Sydney started fast – taking a quick 2 goal lead thanks to good moves and finishes under the basket by Amber and Victoria – assisted by Clinton and Tomas. Newcastle pulled one back before Joey drew a foul and Graham popped in the penalty. Tomas made it 4-1 and after an instant reply from Newcastle, Sarah pounced on a loose ball and was fouled whilst shooting – Graham making it two from two from the penalty spot. Newcastle rallied to bring it back to 5-4 but Clinton had other ideas, scoring a beautiful long shot to keep Sydney in front.
Into the second half, the Royals gained momentum and drew level as the Redbacks began to tense – however, Clinton kept his nerve to score from the spot, continuing the Redbacks’ 100% penalty accuracy for the day. That goal lifted the pressure and although Newcastle still had two goals in them, the Redbacks finished with a flurry – Tom scoring a casual long shot, Victoria getting her second of the game and Graham finishing from mid-range after Tom drew both defenders. The accurate shooting as the final whistle neared ensured Sydney stayed ahead, taking the win 10-8 in a hard-fought encounter to edge ahead in the A series.
The Redbacks will head up the M1 to Newcastle on Sunday 20 May, hoping to build on their series lead, whilst also searching for their first away victory in the NSW series.