Bring on the finals: Spirited Ipswich upsets mighty Goodna
SATISFYING, pumped and rewarding.
They were just three words to describe how senior Ipswich Flyers players Melissa Beutel and Tara Bramwell felt after their breakthrough SEQ Cup victory over the powerful Goodna Sapphires.
In their third season trying to overcome their previously unbeaten opponents, the Flyers finally achieved the milestone in their 60-56 local derby victory at the Queensland State Netball Centre.
"It was extremely satisfying,'' Beutel said, reflecting on the win with just one more match on Thursday night before the Queensland Premier League semi-finals.
"We have been working hard on things we lacked in our first meeting with them so to get the win was great.
"Everyone was pumped.''
Bramwell, who played wing attack, agreed.
"It was rewarding, especially after focusing on so many things from the last time we played them,'' Bramwell said.
Goal keeper Beutel said the Flyers chipped away in every quarter, not letting the defending champions get away.
"To keep the win in such a close physical match is so tough, so making sure the basics are done well is where I think we sealed the deal,'' she said.
"We have been training for these hard games both physically and mentally.
"High level netball is a very physical game these days so we need to be able to play a physical game but stay disciplined, which is what we have been working on as a team.''
Preparing for Thursday night's game against Underwood, Beutel said ending Goodna's winning domination provided a major boost for the semi-finals next Friday night.
"I think anyone would say beating an undefeated side is awesome and now we know it can be done,'' she said.
"So now we put it to the side and focus on our next opponents.
"The set-up of the finals means we will most likely be playing the winner of Pool B, which we haven't played this season, so we need to turn our focus to securing that win now.''
Bramwell said the Flyers would need to maintain their discipline after such a physical contest with the Sapphires.
"Because of the hard work we all put in at training, it always pays off in the long run,'' she said.
Both team leaders praised coach Nicole Grant for her meticulous preparation, direction and faith in the team.
"Nicole is so passionate and committed to the Flyers that this is a great reward for all of the coaching staff. They ride every emotion with us,'' the experienced Beutel said.
"All 10 players got on the court this week. In such a physical close game this can be risky. But Nicole has so much confidence in all 10 of us that this could be done.''
Another senior player Emilie McInally shared the goal attack role with Chloe Roberts.
"The third quarter has always been strong for Goodna so to make changes like goal attack, centre and wing defence at that point and still be ahead at the end of the quarter is impressive. It shows the depth in this team,'' Beutel said.
"For Nicole to have faith in all her players and be able to make some massive changes at half time, it just shows the quality of players we have,'' Bramwell said.
Victory over Underwood tonight thurs will ensure the second-placed Flyers keep peaking for a finals' charge.
"We will keep building on what we have been all season,'' Beutel said.
"We will have more game time at training to work out a few kinks, work on perfecting some of our plays.''
Bramwell said beating the Sapphires enhanced her motivation this season.
"I've wanted to be in the grand final since Round 1, but it's a step in the right direction,'' she said.
The Ipswich Vipers side enjoyed their second win of the season in beating QCNA 59-50 in their second last game of the season.
State of play
QPL SEQ Cup Rd 14: Thursday - Pool A (7.50pm): Ipswich Flyers v Underwood; Goodna Sapphires bye. Pool B (6.30pm): Ipswich Vipers v Downey Park.
Round 13: Ipswich Flyers def Goodna Sapphires 60-56; Ipswich Vipers def QCNA 59-50.