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ANA 2024: Royals Saints resist challenge from Kangas, Denmark hand Bullets first defeat of A1 competition

Harry GrigsonAlbany Advertiser
Royals' Jazelle Foggin takes the pass.
Camera IconRoyals' Jazelle Foggin takes the pass. Credit: Laurie Benson

Royals Saints 1 narrowly avoided defeat, securing a two-goal win against a spirited Kangas 1 in round seven of the Albany Netball Association A1 competition on Saturday.

Royals trailed at the first two breaks as Kangas looked destined to notch an impressive upset victory over last year’s premiers, before the side who have won four of the last seven A1 titles powered to a 52-50 victory.

Down by five goals at the half, Royals’ remarkable comeback ignited in the third quarter when sharpshooter Jazelle Foggin almost single-handedly seized control of the game.

Royals' Summer Stirling and Kangas' Keely Berry contest.
Camera IconRoyals' Summer Stirling and Kangas' Keely Berry contest. Credit: Laurie Benson

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She was exceptionally accurate in the goal circle with 10 of her team’s 13 goals with a staggering shooting percentage of 83 per cent to lead them to a one-goal three-quarter-time lead.

Kangas continued to press in the final quarter through shooters Sophie Panizza and Kaitlyn Bradley, but Royals class shone through to seal the clutch victory.

Wing attack Rebecca Goodliffe was instrumental through the middle court with stints in the goal circle and was buoyed by hard-running centre Sophie Loveridge.

Royals' Sophie Loveridge looks for an option.
Camera IconRoyals' Sophie Loveridge looks for an option. Credit: Laurie Benson

Sienna Hepworth and Chelsi Mier each played pivotal roles in the defensive circle partnering with Narelle Humphries who formed a virtual brick wall in front of the Kangas’ basket.

The game was played at a high pace and largely in transition during the second quarter with both defences making it increasingly difficult to score goals.

The Kangas shot at 60 per cent in the second as Humphries smothered Kangas’ shooting duo Shanaya Weeden and Kaitlyn Bradley.

Kangas' Rachael Bradley looks inside.
Camera IconKangas' Rachael Bradley looks inside. Credit: Laurie Benson

But when Panizza was activated off the bench to match the athleticism of Humphries, the tall shooter made an immediate impact hitting four of her first five shots.

Denmark Magpies 1 handed Bullets 1 their first loss of the campaign after strangling the ladder-leaders in the second half to set up a strong 10-goal win.

After leaking 23 goals in the opening half, the Magpies tightened their squeeze on Bullets’ shooters and held them to just 11 goals in the second half of their 44-34 victory.

Magpies shooter Lauren Bracewell was swung back into the defence goal circle in the third, proving to be a pivotal play as the Bullets were kept to just four goals.

At the other end, the Magpies piled on 11 goals before powering away with a 12-7 final quarter.

In the battle of the bottom two sides, Griffins 1 registered their first win of the campaign with a thrilling two-goal victory over Bethel 1.

Kangas' Kaitlin Bradley shoots.
Camera IconKangas' Kaitlin Bradley shoots. Credit: Laurie Benson

Both sides had not won a game heading into the fixture, but Griffins proved too strong, leading at every break on their way to the 39-37 triumph.

Griffins’ Ava Marmion showed her versatility with efforts at both ends of the floor while Tiffany Butterworth played a key role in the middle court all game.

In the final fixture of the round, Narrikup 1 notched their third consecutive victory after easing past Railways 1 by 14 goals to stay in touch with the top four.

Kangas' Shanaya Weeden.
Camera IconKangas' Shanaya Weeden. Credit: Laurie Benson

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