City West Falcons welcomed back star shooter Kathleen Knott in style last week, returning to the winners’ list and solidifying their place in the Victorian Netball League top four.
After a tight loss the previous week against table-leading Melbourne University, the Falcons bounced back with a comfortable 60-54 win over ACU Sovereigns last Wednesday.
The win keeps the Falcons a game clear of fifth-placed Geelong with six rounds left in the season.
Falcons coach Marg Lind said she was impressed with the Sovereigns but always felt like she had control of the contest.
“We had Kath Knott back for her first game in three weeks after a calf injury, so we were a little bit rusty, but I thought as the game progressed we showed some really good signs,” she said.
Knott took little time getting back into the swing of the contest, making nine of her 10 shots in the first quarter as the Falcons opened up an early lead.
Accuracy would become the story of the night, with the Sovereigns having one more shot at goal for the quarter but going to the first break down 15-13.
Knott partnered well with Steph Puopolo during the course of the night, missing just three shots between them in the first three quarters as the lead continued to grow.
By the time the final quarter started, the Falcons had a nine-goal advantage, with the Sovereigns shooting at just 84 per cent across the night. The Falcons were phenomenal, with a 93 per cent shooting efficiency.
Knott played the whole match and finished with 43 goals from 45 shots, while the mid-court play of centre Molly Jovic was crucial to the final result.
Lind said that while the win was pleasing, there was still plenty for her side to improve.
“Our scoring rate was excellent, but we probably didn’t turn the ball over enough defensively, which meant they got plenty of looks at the goals,” Lind said.
“We were able to get ourselves into good positions under the post, so that helped us with our accuracy.”
Lind said the Falcons were well placed as the finals neared.
“It’s a re-jigged team, so we think we have a lot of improvement in us compared to some other teams,” she said. “We don’t want to drop any games in the run home.”