The Hawks faced Southern Saints in Round 8 of the Bupa Victorian Netball League, coming away with one win from three games in what was a tough night for the blue, brown and gold.
The Hawks’ Championship division team ran into a hot Southern Saints outfit in Round 8, going down 31-60 on a night when nothing seemed to go right.
A hot start saw the Hawks hold Saints scoreless for the first six minutes of the game, with Clare Pettyfor – celebrating her 100th game for the club – and Shannon Rennison right on top in defence. But a number of opportunities went unrewarded in what was a scrappy affair early, with then Hawks taking only a 9-6 lead into quarter-time.
Saints were a different team in the second quarter and the Hawks struggled to respond, managing seven goals for the quarter while 20 went in at the other end to give Saints a 26-16 lead.
The introduction of Daisy Hill (9/13) into goal shooter for her first Championship appearance of 2019 temporarily breathed some life into the Hawks’ attack, before Saints regained control and extended their advantage to 41-23 at the final change.
From there Saints added another 19 goals to run out comfortable winners, with the Hawks now looking to rebound against the bottom-placed Boroondara Express in Round 9 and keep their season alive.
Division 1 bounced back from a tight two-goal loss against league leaders DC North East Blaze last week to defeat Southern Saints 57-37 and consolidate their position inside the top four.
The Hawks were on top from the outset, netting 17 goals to Saints’ eight in the first quarter, with goal shooter Monique Lenehan-Moustafa (25/29 and three votes) dominant under the post with 13 goals for the quarter.
Errors began to creep in in the second quarter but the Hawks still managed to stretch their lead by a couple of goals to lead 30-19.
The third quarter saw 19/U goaler Olivia Morris (12/17) take the court in her Division 1 debut for the Hawks, helping the team add another 14 goals for the term. But it was at the defensive end where things really clicked, as a positional switch between Sally Deller at goal defence and Emily Kay at goal keeper saw the Hawks hold their opposition to just six goals for the quarter and extend the margin to 19 goals.
A 13-12 final quarter sealed a 20-goal win, with the Hawks remaining in third position on the Division 1 ladder, two games ahead of fifth and primed for a Round 9 clash against the fourth-placed Boroondara Express.
The Hawks 19/U team overcame a slow start and looked poised to finish off a stunning comeback before running out of steam against Southern Saints in a 41-49 loss.
After three wins on the trot the Hawks were eyeing a top-four spot but couldn’t find their best form in Round 8, crawling out of the blocks at both ends of the court in the opening quarter and managing only eight goals, while Saints had 22 shots for 19 goals at the other end.
Saints’ lead ballooned to 17 goals in the second quarter before Hawks began to mount a fightback after some positional switches, with goal keeper Olivia Spence starting to have an influence and her team cutting the margin back to 11 goals by quarter’s end.
VNL debutant Olivia May was shifted into centre in the third term and again the Hawks found another gear, reducing the deficit to six goals late in the term as she and wing defence Abigail Inglis began to stifle Saints’ flow. But some late turnovers saw Saints push their lead back out to 10.
The Hawks reeled off the first five goals of the final quarter to put themselves right back in it but couldn’t maintain their run, with a couple of cheap turnovers handing Saints back an unassailable lead.
The loss sees the Hawks sitting only one game outside the top four as the season nears its halfway point.