After a win and a loss in the past week, City West Falcons have moved to third on the Victorian Netball League Championship ladder, but a finals berth is still not assured.
With the Falcons in the middle of a stretch that includes five games in 20 days, they fell to ladder leader North East Blaze last Wednesday before coming from behind to steal a one-goal win over Peninsula Waves on Sunday.
Falcons coach Marg Lind said her side was coping well with the physical demands of the busy schedule, but it was limiting their ability to fix any problems between matches.
“It’s a third of our season crammed into two weeks, but the girls are holding up OK,” Lind said.
“We’ve had to back off our training, which makes it hard because we have to work on things – but if you do you flatten the players even further.
“Given the load they’ve had over the last fortnight, it’s just ridiculous to try to train them.”
In Wednesday’s match, the Falcons were able to match it with the Blaze for much of the contest but lost their way for six minutes in the second quarter.
The Blaze was incredibly effective all night, holding a 10-point lead at half-time and eventually prevailing 61-50.
In a good sign for the future, Lind moved her players around in the final quarter and tried some different things.
While the Blaze scored 20 final-quarter goals, the Falcons were still effective on their attacking end with 19 goals of their own.
Sunday’s clash with the Waves was tight all day, with neither side getting more than three goals in front from the opening whistle. The Falcons took their chances in the final quarter, creating good turnovers and shooting well to secure a 63-62 win.
The win brought the Falcons from fifth up to third following other results.
They are a game ahead of Boroondara and Geelong, but have an inferior percentage
But Lind said percentage meant nothing at this stage of the year and that every win would be treasured in the run towards finals.
“If you make a slip-up now, you’re out of the top four – it’s that tight,” she said.
“We really can’t afford to lose and every side has a tough run home, but we don’t take anything for a certainty.
“We’re working hard to hang in there, but it’s not rocket science – we just need to keep winning.”