Sheridan Kowald shoots Narrikup to upset win over reigning premiers in preliminary final

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Narrikup's Sheridan Kowald was on fire against Royals Saints.
Camera IconNarrikup's Sheridan Kowald was on fire against Royals Saints. Credit: Laurie Benson

Narrikup 1 progressed through to their first Albany Netball Association A1 grand final since 2013 after knocking out reigning premiers Royals Saints 1 in Tuesday night’s preliminary final.

The 51-39 upset win was set up by star Narrikup shooter Sheridan Kowald, who netted 34 goals in the victory, including 12 in a brilliant third quarter.

Narrikup led by six goals at half-time and quickly extended that margin to nine after netting the first three goals of the third term.

Royals Saints responded bridging the gap back to six after scoring seven of the next 11 goals and the margin was again extended to eight before Royals Saints came again.

Narrikup, however, stood firm and went into three-quarter-time with a handy eight-goal buffer.

Royals Saints scored three of the first five goals in the final term but from there it was all Narrikup as they went on to record a 12-goal win and keep their season alive.

The last quarter was soured by a heavy collision between Kowald and Kathryn Jennings, with the latter coming off injured.

Scores were level midway through the first time before Narrikup settled into the game and took a five-goal advantage into the first change.

Kowald and Nardia Humphries had a shootout in the second quarter hitting nine and eight goals respectively in a much more even term but Narrikup extended their margin to six.

Kowald ended the game with 34 goals from 40 attempts at an impressive 85 per cent, Casey Greay played a strong support act with 17 from 25 and captain Kristie Slater worked hard all game while Darcy Kerr was rock solid in defence.

Humphries scored 31 goals for Royals from 44 attempts while Taylah Orzel worked hard all game and Jennings was a strong contributor.

Royals Saints lost their last three games to be knocked out in straight sets and won’t be in the grand final for the first time since 2015.

The past four premierships have been shared between Royals Saints and Magpies.

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