HAWKS BREAK THROUGH AGAINST LIGHTNING
Hawks Netball Club’s Championship division team scored a much-needed first win of the 2019 season in Round 4, riding a flying start to an eight-goal win against Melbourne Uni Lightning.
After showing glimpses of the form that took them to the top four in 2018 over the opening three rounds but unable to register a win, it was do-or-die against last year’s preliminary finalists, and the Hawks didn’t disappoint.
The Hawks held the Lightning scoreless through much of the first quarter, racing to a 9-0 lead as Clare Johnson, Shannon Rennison and Clare Pettyfor got on top at the defensive end, while in attack Nat Billings (29/34 for the game) and Shae Gee (14/20) were clinical in establishing a 17-6 advantage at quarter-time.
The second quarter was a defensive arm wrestle but again the Hawks kicked clear, adding another 11 goals to seven to lead 28-13 at half-time.
But Melbourne Uni emerged from the break and quickly reminded everyone just how dangerous they can be, holding Hawks to just four goals for the quarter and adding 16 of their own to shave the margin to just three goals at the final change.
This time, though, the Hawks had answers, and after trading goals through the early part of the quarter they pulled away again to record an eight-goal win.
Hawks captain Clare Pettyfor said after last week’s fadeout against Casey Demons, the team had put a premium on maintaining their effort and intensity across the entire 60 minutes.
“It was fantastic to finally get on the winners list,” Pettyfor said.
“We put a real emphasis on starting the game well and making sure we had real intensity and defensive pressure from the first whistle. The fact that we were able to do exactly that in the opening quarter was really pleasing.”
“We knew MU was always going to come back at us, but I think the most pleasing aspect of the game was that even when they cut the margin we were able to regroup and finish the game out really strong.”
Now in a logjam with four other teams on one win and three losses, the Hawks face a critical clash against the 2-2 Peninsula Waves next Wednesday night at Waverley Netball Centre.
The Hawks’ Division 1 team produced its most consistent performance of the season so far, pouring in 64 goals to record a 15-goal win against MU Lightning.
Trailing early after a scrappy start, the Hawks found their rhythm in attack to open a 14-11 lead at quarter-time.
With match MVP Jasmine Ferguson controlling the midcourt, Daisy Hill (48/58) on fire in the goal circle and goal attack Elle Rice (11/13) and wing attack Gabby Henderson helping deliver consistent supply, the Hawks surged in the second and third quarters, while goal keeper Sally Deller continued to apply pressure to towering Lightning tall Louella Tomlinson.
The margin grew to 14 goals by three-quarter time, setting up a 64-49 result that sees the Hawks move to second on the Division 1 ladder after four rounds.
A big second quarter wasn’t enough for the Hawks 19/U team, which was in the contest for a long way but couldn’t find the finishing touches against a solid Lightning outfit, going down 37-47.
Behind 8-14 at quarter-time, the Hawks came storming back in the second quarter, netting 15 goals to reduce the margin to two, with Olivia Morris and Hannah Keane combining strongly in the goal circle and Lanni Pryor and Sophie Hennessey starting to click through the midcourt.
But opportunities went begging in the third quarter, with only eight goals added to the tally as the margin grew to five. The Hawks had their chances in the final term through a series of early turnovers, but they went unconverted, allowing the Lightning to pull away and win by 10.
The Hawks have a great opportunity to bounce back against Peninsula Waves next week.
VNL ROUND 5
Wednesday, April 24 – Waverley Netball Centre
7pm – 19/Under
8.20pm – Division 1
9.40pm – Championship