Hawks Netball’s first trip to the new Maroondah Nets stadium in Melbourne’s east was a happy one in Round 13 of the Bupa Victorian Netball League, with two teams coming away with big wins over Ariels.
Our Championship team snapped a six-game losing streak, leading from start to finish in a strong 57-39 performance to kick off the night.
The Hawks’ last win came against Ariels in Round 6 in a tight affair, and this one looked like following the same script when the Hawks led 15-13 at quarter-time.
But with goal keeper Clare Johnson getting hands to everything in defence, the Hawks held Ariels to only eight second-quarter goals and pushed clear to be in front 26-21 at half-time.
The third quarter saw 19/Under goal attack Hannah Keane make her Championship debut, a week after stepping into Division 1 for the first time, and while the new combination with goal shooter Tayla Shannon (27 goals from 33 attempts), centre Tayla Kearns and wing attack Lil O’Sullivan took time to settle, the Hawks still led 38-34 at the final change.
From there it was all the Hawks, with goal shooter Shae Gee (17 from 22) reentering the game and combining with both Keane (13 from 15) and Shannon to add 19 goals, while at the other end Johnson and Shannon Rennison held Ariels to just five goals to cap an impressive 18-goal win.
Rennison said after a very challenging season on the injury front, it was great to get back on the winners’ list.
“We have had a tough few weeks and lost a lot of experienced players to injury so it was great to get a win and see everyone’s hard work at training pay off,” Rennison said.
“The flip side of losing experienced players is that it’s given us the chance to give some of the younger players an opportunity at Championship level and they have definitely injected some energy into the side.”
“Hannah made an excellent debut. She had speed and accuracy in the circle, and we were able to implement the things we have been working on at training for the full four quarters.”
The result sees the Hawks improve to equal-sixth on the ladder, and now face the fourth-placed Southern Saints in Round 14 next Wednesday.
The Hawks’ Division 1 team grabbed a fourth consecutive VNL victory to move into second place on the ladder.
In a dominant display, the Hawks led from the outset and extended their advantage in each quarter to run away with a 63-36 win.
With second-placed Geelong Cougars going down to fourth-placed Boroondara Express, the result saw the Hawks jump into second spot with five rounds remaining in the regular season.
Having been pushed all the way by Ariels in Round 6, it was a determined Hawks outfit that took the court this time around, with a 13-8 quarter-time lead becoming 29-19 at half-time.
The introduction of Bronte Pearson into centre at half-time injected more speed into the attack end, teaming well with wing attack Gabby Henderson, goal shooter Daisy Hill (37 from 43) and goal attack Elle Rice (15 from 18) to add a further 18 goals, while in the defence end Sally Deller and Chloe Sinclair restricted Ariels to only six goals to extend the margin to 22.
The final quarter saw the Hawks try a number of new combinations, capping 27-goal win.
In VNL’s 19/Under division, the Hawks remain in contention for finals despite a 44-60 loss against Ariels on Wednesday night.
The Hawks battled back bravely after trailing 1-8 at the start the first quarter and 11-19 at quarter-time, slashing the margin to only one goal at half-time, with goal keeper Olivia Spence stemming the flow of Ariels opportunities and Hannah Keane netting 12 of her own at the other end.
But that dominance was short-lived, with Ariels holding sway in the third term to lead 35-42.
The Hawks made several runs early in the fourth quarter but just couldn’t manage a decisive one to narrow the margin inside five goals, with Ariels biding their time before storming home to finish the quarter 18-9 and wrap up a 16-goal win.
The 19/Under division remains exceptionally close with five games left in the season, with the Hawks only half a game outside the top four and still a great chance of playing finals. They play the fourth-placed Southern Saints in Round 14 on Wednesday night.