City West Falcons have moved into the Victorian Netball League championship division top four, but the hard work is just beginning.
With a tough draw in the run home, the Falcons know that any wrong move could see them miss finals.
On Wednesday night, the Falcons produced a strong four quarter performance in a 71-38 win against the Ariels.
Falcons coach Marg Lind said it was a strong all round performance and they made sure they kept their foot down all game.
“We played well,” she said. “We got off to a blinder of a start. They reshuffled after the first half and got better, but we were still on top.
“We’ve still got some things to iron out though.”
The win coincided with the Falcons having their four Australian Netball League players all back on the court together.
Jane Cook enjoyed her return to the side, shooting 59 goals from 66 attempts.
Lind said the connection of Cook and wing attack Maggie Lind was really strong.
“Jane is a great post up player.
“She had a bit of fun. She’s got some good friends in the team and she just relaxed.”
Lind was full of praise for
Cook’s shooting partner Tahnysha Salanoa, whose confidence is growing.
The umpires gave Zoe Davies best on court, while Anger Akec was given the two votes.
The win moves the Falcons into the top four and just four points off second place, but they have a tough draw ahead of them.
They face three of the top five sides in the run home.
“We’re mindful that we might have to go undefeated to make the top four,” Lind said.
“The other teams in the top five have an easier run.
“We’ll give it a go, we have nothing to lose.”
It’s the same mentality for the Falcons division 1 and under-19 sides, which both sit fifth after good wins against the Ariels too.
Lind said having a full championship division team would help the other two teams.
Uneeq Palavi stepped back into division 1 on Wednesday night and shot 51 goals from 54 attempts.
Madelyn Gray and Imogen Sexton both played under-19s, with Gray named best on court.
Lind said it makes a big difference having those players able to step back.
The Falcons this week face Melbourne University. The last time the two teams met, it was one of the championship division side’s worst matches.
Lind said it was a really big game for them.
“They are really experienced,” she said. “Last time we played them, it was like rabbits in headlights.
“[Now] We’ve got that enthusiasm and confidence that we’ve built the last few weeks.
“It’ll be on like Donkey Kong.”