City West Falcons opened up their account in the Victorian Netball League courtesy of a strong second half on Wednesday night.
The Falcons showed their depth in the convincing win as their four Australian Netball League players were missing from the game.
Falcons’ coach Marg Lind was happy with the side’s performance in the 68-48 win against the Southern Saints. Scores were level at half-time, before the Falcons shot away in the second half with 40 to 20 goals.
“The players settled a bit more and know what to expect now,” she said.
“The Saints are an improved side and we were able to wear them down.”
The Falcons started with Kath Knott and Madelyn Gray in goals before switching Tharjini Sivalingam into goal shooter at half-time.
Lind said Knott produced what they had come to expect for her, while the other two shooters, who were up from division 1, performed well.
“Jini had a strong second half,” she said.
“I think in division 1 they are still learning how to feed to her. She plays with Maggie [Lind] and Maddy on a Saturday and they have that chemistry that works for her.
“Maddy has trained with the group. She was really solid and had a good volume of shots playing out front from Jini and Kath.”
Lind said she liked the attacking end combinations in both halves, while they tried a few different combinations in the new-look defence.
Lind said as well as trying to get the wins on the board early while missing their ANL players, it was about making sure the players were handling the challenge.
She said sometimes players didn’t know until hours before the game what division they were playing in.
“The players have to be switched on as they don’t know if they are playing division 1 or championship division.
“It’ll take five to six weeks to make the transition,” she said.
“We’re making sure we nurse their confidence and making sure they’re not overwhelmed.”
It was a good night for the Falcons as all three teams won their games.
Uneeq Palavi, who came up from under-19s, shot the winning goal after the siren in the Falcons’ 57-56 division 1 win.
In under-19s, the Falcons won 48-38.
The Falcons this week face Boroondara Express.
Meanwhile, Falcons shooter Jane Cook has joined Collingwood’s Super Netball side as a training partner.
Cook has Super Netball experience as part of the Adelaide Thunderbirds last season.