Hawks Netball had one of its best nights of the season in Round 16 of the Bupa Victorian Netball League, with all three teams coming away with wins against Peninsula Waves.
The Hawks’ Championship division team saved its best until last in a tight contest against Waves, pulling away in the final quarter to register a 51-41 win.
Tied at quarter-time and leading by three at the half, the Hawks couldn’t shake Waves in the third quarter, despite extending their lead to 34-30.
With Clare Johnson having another standout game at goal keeper and midcourter Kelsey Buxton also impressing in a rare turn at goal defence in the final quarter, the Hawks powered away with 17 goals from Kim Commane and Tayla Shannon to continue building on what has been encouraging back half of the season.
The Hawks, now sitting in equal sixth position on the ladder, take on the ninth-placed Boroondara Express in Round 17 next Wednesday night.
In Division 1 the Hawks chalked up their 12th win of the season with a big 64-34 result against Waves.
The result sees the Hawks remain in third spot on the ladder, just half a game behind Geelong, and with crunch games coming up against fourth-placed Boroondara Express and ladder leaders North East Blaze in the final two rounds of the season.
The Hawks’ intentions were clear early, with a 20-6 first quarter setting the tone for the match as goal shooter Daisy Hill scored 13 from 13 for the quarter, while goal attack Elle Rice added seven to the score.
A scrappy second quarter saw Waves lift to close the gap to 31-18 at half-time, despite the efforts of wing defence Chloe Sinclair, who had four intercepts for the term.
Sally Deller quickly stamped her authority after being moved out to goal defence in the third quarter, picking off four balls as the Hawks held Waves to only eight goals to push their advantage to 46-26, before adding another 18 goals to eight in the last quarter to round out a 30-goal win.
The 19/Under team has put out one of its best performances of the season, knocking off the second-placed Waves to register their eighth win for the season – the club’s best return in the 19/Under division since 2014.
The Hawks were made to work every step of the way by Waves, who were out to avenge a one-goal loss the last time the teams met in Round 5, but the Hawks were too strong in the second half, pulling away to win 55-49.
The teams could barely be separated in the first half, with the Hawks holding a narrow 25-24 lead at the long break. But perfect 16-from-16 shooting from Ellie Karaula and Hannah Keane in the third quarter helped split the game open, while Olivia Spence and Gemma Thomas continued to make things happen in defence.
Lanni Pryor also impressed at wing attack in the second half, teaming with Abi Inglis in the final quarter to help add another 14 goals to the Hawks’ tally and put the result beyond doubt.
The result has the Hawks still in sixth place on the ladder and requiring a few results to go their way in the remaining two rounds if they’re to chase down the fourth-placed Southern Saints, who are one-and-a-half games in front.