Maclean High jumps for joy in DEX Netball Challenge
MACLEAN High School was crowned DEX Shield Open Netball Challenge champions after winning an epic final 40-37 against McAuley Catholic College at Grafton Sports Centre.
McAuley went into the showdown as defending champ. But Maclean, who sat out the 2014 edition, reclaimed the shield it previously won in 2013.
Madeleine Smith was part of that triumph two years ago and was appropriately named Player of the Final. It was a clinical performance from the goal attack who formed a dominant partnership in the goal circle with Piper Chard.
"I was part of the team in 2013 so it's good to be back in the DEX Shield and winning," Smith said.
"It's a really good comp with the rivalries between the schools.
"We were strong across the court. Teagan McFarlane and Kirra Bliss were really good in defence."
A blistering 13-point second quarter propelled McAuley into a half-time lead. However, Maclean's high energy across the court and defensive pressure resulted in numerous turnovers and missed opportunities from McAuley in a low-scoring third quarter.
McAuley's Kelly Saye rediscovered her shooting radar as the two sides traded goal for goal early in the fourth. However, after scores were locked 32-all it was Smith who rose above, playing a major hand in a four-goal streak which gave Maclean breathing space with time running out.
Quarter by quarter
Maclean v McAuley
Q1. 11 to 9
Q2. 20 (9) to 22 (13)
Q3. 28 (8) to 27 (5)
Q4. 40 (12) to 37 (10)