With just two rounds remaining before finals, Hawks Netball’s three Bupa Victorian Netball League teams were out to make a statement against Boroondara Express in Round 17.
Check out our weekly wrap to find out how our teams fared.
Hawks Netball’s Championship division team looks set for a do-or-die semi-final clash in two weeks’ time, after falling out of equal top spot with a loss against Boroondara Express in Round 17.
Locked on equal points with Melbourne Uni Lightning and Geelong Cougars coming into the season’s penultimate round, Hawks fell 50-60 against eighth-placed Express, dropping them into outright third place.
In a scrappy start, the Hawks couldn’t capitalise on a number of early chances, falling behind 12-18 at quarter-time.
In what became the theme for the night, the Hawks made charge after charge at Boroondara, narrowing the margin numerous times, only to be brought undone by costly mistakes in transition or in the goal third.
They trailed by eight goals at half-time and 10 at three-quarter time before again closing the gap early in the final quarter. But Express proved too steady and cleared out for a 10-goal victory.
The Hawks have an excellent opportunity to find their best form heading into finals when they take on second-placed Geelong Cougars in Round 18, having beaten Cougars 64-60 when the teams last met in Round 9.
Hawks Netball’s Division 1 team posted its highest score of the season and matched its biggest winning margin with a 37-goal win against Boroondara Express.
Having dropped four of the previous five games, the team had its full squad available for the first time since Round 11 and quickly found its groove, netting 37 goals to 16 in the first half.
Clare Johnson and Chloe Sinclair were again thrifty in defence, in tandem with wing defences Juliet Fisher and Enya Broadley, holding Express to just 11 goals in the second half to push the final result to 64-27.
The win all but assures Hawks of finishing in third place on the Division 1 ladder, with the team to take on first-placed Geelong Cougars in the final round of the season, before facing Selkirk Sovereigns in the minor semi-final.
The Hawks’ 19/U team was aiming to replicate its impressive form against Express the last time the teams met in Round 7, and for two quarters it looked like being another tight contest.
Trailing 11-17 at quarter-time against the competition’s top side, the Hawks rallied in the second quarter to reduce the margin to three goals, but Boroondara hit back hard to extend their lead to eight goals – 24-32 – at half-time.
From there Boroondara opened the throttle, scoring 18 goals to nine in the third term and finishing the game 67-40.
The Hawks will take on third-placed Geelong Cougars in the final round of the season – with a win potentially seeing them jump up seventh on the ladder.