Monday, 3 June 2013

Division 1: Falcons outlast Monash

A bright start and third quarter push weren’t enough for Monash to overcome City West Falcons, as Central went down by nine goals on Wednesday night at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

With only one miss in their first seven attempts on goal, Central jumped out to an early 6-2 lead thanks to some energetic work in the mid-court from both Shai Skinner and Michelle Andrews.

In addition, the athleticism and accurate shooting of Gabrielle Henderson and Tayla Shannon were causing major headaches for an immobile Falcons defence.

However, City West made some immediate changes. As a result, the second quarter saw a completely different match take shape.

A 20-6 second quarter proved the difference as the Falcons combined for some excellent shooting and intimidating full court pressure, pounding Monash into submission all over the court.

Trailing by 11 goals at half time, many had written Monash off with the view that the Falcons would continue on their merry way.

No one told Monash, as they produced an 18-11 run in third quarter to trail by just four at the final change.

The opening goal to Shannon (14 from 17 attempts) cut the margin to three, but that would be as close to the Falcons as Monash would get.

City West netted seven of the last 10 goals of the match to exercise a nine-point winning margin, 56-47.

Shae Gee was prolific coming on in the second half and providing a strong avenue for scoring through the third quarter in partnership with Shannon.

Although struggling at times with the weight of possession the Falcons enjoyed in the second and fourth quarters, Ebony Fietz was again tireless in defence.

Speaking to post-match, coach Jacqui Hansen spoke of the match as a game of two halves.

“I thought our first and third quarters were really good,” Hansen said.

“We spoke about coming out strong and making a statement early, which we did and that was pleasing.

“Unfortunately, we got intimidated. They pressed defensively and we weren’t able to recognise and adapt quickly enough.”

Hansen said that there was a temptation to bring Gee on earlier, but was impressed with the way that the Henderson-Shannon combination worked.

“They were brilliant in the first quarter and gave us a strong platform.

“Unfortunately, they get out-muscled by the change of defenders in that second quarter.

“We ran out of legs too. I thought we competed really well given that it was a big challenge to get up from being 11 goals down.”

Monash now face the bottom-placed UB Ballarat Pride on Wednesday night on Court 1 at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.

FINAL SCORE: Monash University Central 47 def. by City West Falcons 56

MUC SCORERS: Shae Gee 22 (69%); Tayla Shannon 14 (83%); Gabrielle Henderson 11 (92%)

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