Souths beat Nova in minor semi-final of 2019 Newcastle open netball championship

Souths moved to within one match of another grand final appearance when they comfortably disposed of Nova Queens Wharf Thunder in the Newcastle open championship minor semi-final on Saturday.

The Lions won three championships from 2014 to 2016 and were beaten in the past two title deciders by West Leagues Balance.

They finished third this season in what coach Trude Yen described as "an up and down year" but never looked in doubt as they powered to a 43-23 win over Thunder at National Park netball courts on Saturday.

Souths led 13-6 at the first break, 22-12 at half-time then 35-17 at three-quarter time.

"We got out to a great start. We knew we wanted this win more than anything because we know we deserve to be in the finals," Yen said.

"We want to give the preliminary final a really good crack next and we're prepared to do this one game at a time.

"We're very happy with our play and the progression of the young girls who have come into the team has been really pleasing."

Slicker and sharper movement up court and high-percentage shooting proved the difference between the sides.

"[Tianna [Cummings] and Nakita [Jackson] in our defence end were really pushing hard and Eliza Hand in that wing defence today was just dynamic," Yen said.

"So we had a beautiful defence end up there and Katie [goal attack Katelyn Stansfield] controlling that attack end was just fantastic."

Player-coach Katie Robinson was disappointed Nova's season had come to an abrupt end but took plenty out of the year.

"They obviously shot well. Our errors were not really high and I thought we worked the ball down the court well but when we missed a few shots we couldn't then get the turnover to slow them down again," Robinson said.

"Their pathway into their shooters was faster and cleaner and that gives you confidence. They were stronger on court too. When they went for an intercept they really got it, whereas we got tips but nothing we could really hold on to.

"Our goal was to get to the semis but once you're there you always want one more. But it's a great group. Our intensity in the last quarter was the same as in the first and that's credit to what we've created this year."

Minor premiers West and second-placed Forsythes Business Advisors meet in the major semi-final on August 24. The winner will progress to the grand final on September 7 and the loser will meet Souths in the preliminary final on August 31.

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