City West Falcons have finally qualified for the Victorian Netball League championship division finals.
After a loss the previous round, the Falcons needed a win against bottom side Ariels in the final round of the season to seal fourth spot.
The result was never in doubt for the Falcons, who led by 13 goals at the first break. They extended the lead at every break to win 81-29.
The one-sided affair gave the Falcons’ coaching panel, led by Marg Lind, scope to work on a few things heading into finals.
“The first quarter was really good and we never took our foot off the pedal,” Lind said.
“We mixed things up a bit and tried a few different combinations to add a bit of diversity to the team. We were looking for more defensive turnovers and we got that, which took off some of the pressure.”
The Falcon shooters had a night out, with Jane Cook (32 goals) and Kath Knott (30 goals) missing only one attempt each.
Lind said Cook, who returned to the side midway through the season after finishing Super Netball League commitments, was improving each week.
“Jane adds that element of size and that may be useful in a final if we need to score goals quickly,” Lind said.
While the Falcons qualified for finals, they’re in the unusual position of playing an elimination semi-final.
In recent years, the Falcons have finished in the top two and secured double chances. Last year they lost the grand final by one goal.
The Falcons will face Geelong Cougars in Wednesday night’s elimination encounter. With a couple of former Falcons players and a former Falcons coach part of the Cougars’ set up, Lind knows it will be a hard match.
The teams split their two matches during the season.
“They know us inside out,” Lind said. “They’ve got a good line-up with Australian Netball League and state players in it.”
The Falcons are one of two clubs to have all three of its teams playing in the Victorian Netball League finals.
The Falcons’ division 1 side finished third, while the under-19 side won the minor premiership.
“It means a lot to have all three sides in the finals,” Lind said.
“A lot of ground work has been done.”