VNL RD 11: HAWKS’ WINNING WAYS CONTINUE
Hawks Netball grabbed two more wins in Round 11 Bupa Victorian Netball League Round on Wednesday night, with Championship and Division 1 continuing their solid form at the top of their respective ladders.
Catch up on all the action as the Hawks took on Peninsula Waves.
Hawks Netball’s Championship division team has won its eighth game in a row and now sits two games clear at the top of the ladder, after a stern test against Peninsula Waves.
With three teams sitting only two wins behind and almost nothing separating the top four teams on percentage, every game is crucial and the Hawks did just enough in Round 11 on Wednesday night.
A slow start at both ends of the court saw the Hawks lucky to be within a goal at quarter-time, with Waves generating plenty of opportunity for their goalers but hitting 12 of their 23 shooting attempts, while the Hawks netted 11 of 13.
The Hawks’ consistency began to shine through in the second quarter, with less attempts on goal but a 13-7 scoreline to help open up a 24-19 half-time lead.
Goal shooter Kim Commane scored a perfect 12 from 12 in the third quarter on her way to 37 from 40 for the game – enough to earn her yet another three votes from the umpires – as the Hawks’ lead crept out to 10. The result was never in doubt in the final quarter, with the Hawks notching a 53-40 result.
Round 12 presents yet another top-of-the-table encounter, with the Hawks to take on the second-placed DC North East Blaze – the only team to have knocked off the Hawks so far this season.
The Division 1 team found a way to win despite being a long way off its best, maintaining top spot on the ladder with a scrappy 38-31 win against Waves.
The signs were good early as the Hawks opened up a 5-0 lead that quickly became 9-2, and then 12-4 by quarter-time, with defensive pressure across the whole court limiting Waves’ opportunities, and goal keeper Clare Johnson taking advantage with five turnovers.
But Waves rallied in the second quarter, lifting their own defensive output and disrupting the Hawks’ speed to dry up the scoring and close the gap to 20-15 at half-time.
Waves won a defensive tug-of-war in the third quarter, with the teams managing only 13 goals between them and the score sitting at 26-22 the Hawks’ way.
In the final quarter the Hawks finally found some consistency, with Nichola Tulley solid at wing attack and goalers Daisy Hill and Bridgette Furphy matching their first-quarter effort with 12 goals to wrap up an eight-goal win.
The team is now faces a tough fortnight, with important games against third-placed DC North East Blaze in Round 12 and fourth-placed Selkirk Sovereigns in Round 13.
Hawks Netball’s 19/U team fought out a 39-44 thriller against top-four team Peninsula Waves, only coming up short in the final few minutes after leading for most of the game.
In another strong start, the Hawks led from the outset, with goal shooter Ellie Karaula netting seven from seven in the opening quarter as they took an 11-10 lead.
With defenders Chelsea Bowman and Gemma Thomas keeping Waves’ goalers quiet and forcing a positional change, the Hawks capitalised at the other end, potting 14 goals to eight in the second quarter to lead 25-18 at the long break.
The Hawks hung tough in the third quarter, maintaining a five-goal lead despite Waves starting to make inroads. But errors became a factor in the fourth quarter, with the Hawks managing only five goals from seven attempts, while Waves made their most of their opportunities to shoot 15 for the quarter and bag a five-goal win.
Hawks 19/U captain Karaula said the performance was a step in the right direction, proving yet again that the team can match it with the competition’s top sides.
“We had a strong start, staying persistent and remaining intense for most of the game,” Karaula said.
“The first half was a consolidation of the last few weeks of what we’ve learnt at training, proving a massive team effort.”
Karaula acknowledged the team’s young defenders, with goal keeper Bowman earning two MVP votes from the umpires.
“We had solid moments of play throughout the entire game, with the defenders once again providing heaps turnovers which we were able to convert into goals,” she said.
“Also our communication from both the bench and on court was evident and helped us sustain that intensity during the game the game.”
The result has Hawks in eighth place on the ladder, with a big game against second-placed DC North East Blaze looming next week.