City West Falcons’ young stars took the next step in their development in the Victorian Netball League on Wednesday night.
After a slow start against DC North East Blaze, which saw them trail by two goals at half-time, the Falcons could have gone into their shell, but they came out firing in the third quarter.
They restricted the Blaze to just five goals and turned the deficit into a seven-goal lead at the last break.
They maintained that lead in the last quarter, winning 54-46.
Falcons’ coach Marg Lind was thrilled with the win, which she hopes will give the playing group some more confidence.
“I’ve been pretty good with them, but I ripped into them,” she said.
“They turned a corner and were able to hold their heads when they needed to.
“They were quite vocal and they are usually pretty quiet … They realised how important the game was and are starting to find their way.”
While Lind was thrilled with the performance of the younger players, it was an experienced trio which led the way.
Maddy Balson and Zoe Davies played their best game as a defensive duo, while Maggie Lind was the experienced head in attack.
Uneeq Palavi scored 42 goals from 45 attempts, while Madelyn Gray scored 12 goals – both could still be playing in the Falcons’ under-19 team.
Lind said Palavi, who has stepped into the championship side in the past month, was realising what she could do.
Palavi was part of the state under-17 team.
“We would have transitioned her through division 1 first if we could have,” Lind said.
“She can really jump. Once she realised, it didn’t matter who she was on, that she could out-jump them, she settled.”
The two look like they will do the majority of the shooting for the Falcons for the next few weeks.
Jane Cook and Tahnysha Salanoa are unavailable due to Australian Netball League commitments, while Kath Knott is out injured and Tharjini Sivalingam is unavailable.
The win leaves the Falcons sitting fifth, just percentage outside the top four.
Lind said they were happy with where they were sitting at the moment. She said they were likely to get their ANL players back in the next few weeks.
“The goal was to be in touch with the top four until the ANL was over,” she said.
“Then hopefully come home with the sails and you never know what can happen.
“As a club we’ve got to cover a whole team, due to ANL and injuries.”
The Falcons division 1 team lost to the Blaze, 57-42.
Andrea Tai shot 26 goals for the Falcons.
In the under-19s, the Falcons defeated the Blaze, 40-37.
Caitlin Hill scored 27 goals for the Falcons.
All three Falcons’ sides face Wilson Storage Southern Saints on Wednesday night.