City West Falcons’ Victorian Netball League championship season is over after it’s attacking end failed to fire on Wednesday night.
Facing Geelong Cougars in an elimination semi-final, the Falcons were slow out of the blocks and left to pay for it.
They trailed by five goals at quarter-time; the margin was out to nine goals at the main break. While they slowed the Cougars in the third quarter, the Falcons still trailed by nine goals at the final break. The Falcons changed things around in the final quarter but it was too little, too late, and the Cougars won 45-42.
Falcons coach Marg Lind said the attack couldn’t get it together.
“We couldn’t find a functioning goal attack,” Lind said.
“Steph [Puopolo] didn’t start well and we couldn’t isolate Kath [Knott] and it was a low-scoring first quarter.
“We brought on Tee [Salanoa] which was a bit ambitious being her first final at this level. We even tried Kath there, but we went backwards.”
Lind moved wing attack Maggie Lind into goal attack in the final quarter and that finally paid off.
“Maggie used to play goal attack but hasn’t for a few years,” Lind said.
“She hasn’t played it since under-19 state level.
“In hindsight I should have made the move at half-time. The last final we won, we moved Maggie into goals. Emily [Post], Maggie and Molly [Jovic] have grown up playing together and played well in the last quarter.”
Jane Cook, who Lind said played well after a slow start, scored 27 goals, including all of the Falcons’ second-half goals.
While the attack struggled, Lind was thrilled with the performance of the defenders. She said they had developed in the past 12 months.
Lind said while disappointed with the result, there was a lot to take from this season.
“I’ve always said it was a rebuilding year,” she said.
“The goal was to make finals, which we did. But I would have liked to have gone on for another week.
“Our defenders were raw and have come along nicely. Despite last night, our attacking end was starting to find some form.”
Lind said they had started to look at their list for next season and would continue to push some of their under-19 players through the system.
The Falcons under-19 side is through to Saturday night’s grand final.