by Jack Sherwill (Carlton College of Sport)
Hawks Netball 19/Under team remains undefeated after five rounds of the Victorian Netball Season, with a strong showing against Boroondara Express at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
A dominant 18-7 second quarter from the Hawks set up the 59-46 win, which keeps them at the top of the ladder as the only undefeated team almost a third of the way through the season.
The defensive efforts of wing defence Abigail Inglis set the tone for the Hawks, alongside goal defence Gemma Thomas, with the pair creating multiple turnovers between them.
Lanni Pryor and Simona Di Filippo combined well through the midcourt, dictating the tempo and controlling the play as the Hawks took a 29-20 lead into half-time.
Boroondara surged in the third quarter, narrowing the gap to seven goals,
Hawks Next Generation player, Kaila Swindell, was also notable in defence for the Hawks making it difficult for Boroondara Express to fight their way back into the game.
The Hawks now face a top-four blockbuster in Round 6 on Wednesday night, taking on third-placed Peninsula Waves in a home clash, proudly presented by Big Ant Studios, at Oakleigh Recreation Centre.
A slow first quarter was the story of the Hawks’ Championship side’s game against Boroondara, with a 6-19 start proving too much to overcome, despite winning the second half convincingly.
Hawks struggled to connect consistently in the first 15 minutes, forcing a number of passes that their opposition pounced on to blow the lead into double digits inside the first 10 minutes.
Shooting duo Nat Billings and Tayla Shannon did well to steady after the shaky start, and the Hawks made headway at times during in the second half, but Booroondara continued to find answers, maintaining their 14-goal lead heading into the final quarter.
Defenders Clare Johnson, Sally Deller and Kelsey Buxton refused to lie down in the final quarter, holding Boroondara to just 12 goals, while the Hawks added 16 in what was easily their best period of the game, but the response was too late, with Express winning 43-52.
The Hawks have a great chance to add to their winning tally when they face the 10th-placed Peninsula waves at part of the club’s marquee home game event on Wednesday night.
Hawks Division 1 came out firing against a strong Boroondara Express side, taking an early three-goal lead in the first quarter.
Kate Fletcher impressed early, controlling the attack end, while goalers Elle Rice and Monique Lenehan-Moustafa came out firing, netting a combined 15 goals from 15 attempts to grab the advantage.
The Hawks struggled to capitalise on the entries into their attack end in the second quarter, while Boroondara Express was quick to jump on any mistakes, responding with 15 goals of their own to grab the lead, 23-27.
Defenders Emily Kay and Clare Pettyfor the Hawks in it in the third quarter, with a win still in sight as the margin hovered at five goals, but turnovers proved costly in the final term as Boroondara held on for a 45-52 win.
HAWKS NETBALL vs PENINSULA WAVES
OAKLEIGH RECREATION CENTRE, PARK RD, OAKLEIGH
7pm – 19/Under
8.2opm – Championship
9.40pm – Division
Champs @ 9:40PM