Solid play saves Falcons

09/07/2017. Hobsons Bay Star Weekly. Vnlcitsou. Issue Date 12/07. VNL City West Falcons v Southern Saints. Falcons Stephanie Puopolo. Picture Shawn Smits

City West Falcons have all but sewn up a spot in the Victorian Netball League Championship finals, following a convincing win over Monash University last week.

With fellow finals contenders Geelong and Boroondara playing each other on the same night, the Falcons knew a win would put them two games clear of fifth with just games to play.

The 57-50 victory has the Falcons well placed to take third spot on the ladder, with coach Marg Lind happy to bank the crucial win.

“We had to fight for it after a good start; teams like Monash have nothing to lose so we had to earn it,” Lind said.

“Once we settled, we were solid under pressure and they kept coming at us but we handled the big moments well.

“It’s the sort of game that is preparing us for what is coming with finals and we’re definitely ready for that now.”

The Falcons wasted little time in getting the upper hand, missing just two of their 20 shots in the opening term to open up an 18-12 lead at quarter-time.

Kath Knott was particularly impressive with 13 goals from 14 shots early.

However, the Storm hit back in the second quarter to close the gap to just one goal at half-time.

Jane Cook took over from Knott in the goal shooter position and dominated with a game-breaking 17-goal third quarter, nearly doubling the Storm’s score on her own for the quarter. Cook would finish the game with 22 goals from 23 shots, while Knott bagged 29 from 31 in the win.

At the other end, Jacqui Newton was good in defence all night.

The win brought an end to five games over a two-week period for the Falcons, and Lind said the side had coped admirably with just the one loss in that time.

“We did well over that time, I think fatigue played its part in some games but we’ve come through it in a good position,” she said.

“We’ve also been able to qualify most girls for finals so we’re well placed on that end.”

The Falcons will look to seal their finals berth when they take on Boroondara this Wednesday, and Lind is confident of getting the job done.

“I think leading into finals we’ve got more options than we’ve ever had, which is really good,” Lind said.

“We played Boroondara at their home court last time and we played really well, so we’ll have to bring that again to get that win and I’m confident we can do it.

“Everyone is a dangerous side at this time of the year though, so we have to be on our game.”