IT was a case of mixed fortunes for the South Coast Coast during round 11 of the NSW Premier Netball competition.
Both teams took on the Sutherland Stingrays, with the Blaze's under 23s guaranteeing a top-two finish with their victory, while the open's side suffered their ninth loss of the campaign.
In the under 23s fixture, the Blaze started slowly but by the end of the first quarter, they were well ahead 18-10.
The Stingrays fought back to trail by five goals four minutes into the second quarter but by half-time, the lead by Blaze had stretched to seven.
At times the ball moved effortlessly through the midcourt with accurate positioning by centre Clare McCrohon and wing-attack Abbey Baker.
Goal-attack Emily Dunn proved formidable int hat position with a number of goal assists.
An intercept from wing-defence Sharnee Behr allowed the Blaze to steal a centre from the Stingrays in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
A deflection from goal-keeper Bilyana Milevski assisted the defence to win back the ball.
Solid body positioning from goal-shooter Ky-Mani Schwenke allowed the Blaze feeders to hit the mark, as South Coast established a lead of 12 heading into the fourth quarter.
A spirited intercept from centre Bronee Loy in the 12th minute of the fourth quarter, saw Blaze hit 51 goals.
All players received court time with Mia Evans (goal-attack) and Chloe Burden (goal-keeper) hitting the hardwood.
An injury to Bilyana Milevski forced changes in the defensive end during the latter part of the game, with Sharnee Behr moving to goal-keeper and Bronee Loy moving to wing-defence.
Both Jess Bowden (goal-defence) and Abbey Baker (wing-attack) had strong games for the Blaze in the 57-53 win.
While in the open's match, numerous errors in the first quarter by the Blaze saw their rivals convert seven shots before South Coast hit the scoreboard - seeing the Stingrays lead 20-7 at the end of the first period.
Changes in the second half saw Annaleise Chadrawy take the goal-keeper position, with young gun and Australian under 17s squad member Sophie Fawns coming on as goal-attack.
The Blaze finished the second quarter with a much-improved effort but still trailed by 16 goals (33-17).
In the third quarter, with Kristina Brice at goal-shooter, Abbey McFadden at wing-attack and Chaise Vasallo at centre, the team looked more settled.
However, fundamental errors allowed the Stingrays to increase their lead by 23 at the end of the third quarter.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Stingrays were ahead 49-26 and Blaze tried desperately to claw back into the game but failed to make a difference with Stingrays taking the game 71-34.
Next week, both Blaze sides face the Central Coast Heart in the penultimate round of the 2020 regular season.
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