Hawks Netball’s Championship team produced a near miracle on Wednesday night to record a much-needed first win of the Victorian Netball League season.
Trailing by six goals with five minutes remaining in the contest against Boroondara Express, the Hawks rattled off a string of unanswered goals to steal a 49-47 win and kickstart their 2022 campaign.
After coming up short by the barest of margins against Melbourne Uni Lightning in Round 2, the Hawks needed a result against Boroondara Express, with both clubs coming into the clash without a win on the board.
But things looked shaky as Boroondara raced to an early advantage, leading by as many as nine goals during the second quarter as the Hawks struggled to find connections in attack, taking a 22-30 scoreline into half-time.
The Hawks began to find goal shooter Kaylia Stanton (38 goals from 42 attempts) with more consistency in the third quarter as her team piled on 15 goals to 12 to cut the gap to four.
Express surged again early in the final term to extend their margin to six, which they held until five minutes remained on the clock and the game looked all but in the bag.
But the Hawks wouldn’t lie down and threw one final barrage at their opposition, with wing defence Kelsey Buxton and goal defence Chloe Sinclair leading the way with a series of turnovers that saw their side draw level with two minutes remaining, before taking the lead and holding on to claim a memorable win.
The win sees the Hawks vault into seventh position on the Championship ladder, just one spot behind Round 4 opponents City West Falcons.
The Hawks’ Division 1 team chalked up their second win a row, overcoming a slow start to chase down Boroondara Express and move into the top four.
Having had a one-goal loss and a three-goal win in the first two rounds, little changed for the Hawks in Round 3, with the result going right down to the wire.
Missing experienced goaler Elle Rice and midcourter Caitlyn Alifraco, the Hawks found the going tough in the first quarter, slipping to a 9-14 deficit as errors mounted.
The second quarter saw the Hawks’ defensive trio of Sally Deller, Sasha Witts and Chloe Duke knuckle down and lift their team back into the contest, holding Express to just seven goals for the quarter, while the Hawks’ Hannah Keane and Monique Lenehan-Moustafa added 10 at the other end to cut the margin to two.
The reintroduction of goal shooter Dominique Taylor to start the third quarter saw the Hawks begin to take control of the contest as she netted all 13 of the Hawks’ goals and helped them to a 32-31 lead at the final change.
From there the Hawks pulled away, extending their advantage to as many as six in the final minutes before settling on a 44-40 win.
Hawks Netball’s 19/Under team has consolidated its position on top of the ladder with another runaway win on Wednesday night.
The Hawks were challenged early by a young Boroondara Express outfit chasing its first win of the season, but the Hawks proved too strong with a dominant second half that saw them score 33 goals to 20 to pull away for a 61-41 win.
Hawks Next Generation training partner Ellarnah Hanlen proved a strong addition to the lineup with 26 goals from 28 attempts after entering the game at quarter-time, while the versatile Eliza Molino earned the umpires’ three votes after switching from goal keeper to goal shooter after half-time and adding 13 goals to the Hawks’ tally.
The Hawks will face City West Falcons in Round 4 at the State Netball Centre on Wednesday night.
19/Under – 7pm
Championship – 8.20pm
Division 1 – 9.40pm