By Claire Macuz and Jordan Witte
Megghan Ryan has flourished in her comeback to the Metro Revellers Division 5 side on Tuesday night, playing her longest amount of time since her return from pregnancy.
Shooting five goals from seven attempts in the first term, Ryan proved she has not lost form over the past 12 months, despite the Revellers going down to Heights 21-25.
A strong start by the Revellers’ wing attack Emily Archer provided a solid option going forward for the centre-court. Archer broke through Heights’ defensive set-up multiple times, with four goal assists going into the first break giving Metro a two-goal lead.
An unprecedented performance in the second term from Heights’ goal shooter saw eight unanswered goals scored to stretch Heights’ lead mid-way through the quarter.
Mikayla Johnston-Bailey and English import Imogen Tanqueray have worked in recent weeks on developing a cohesive partnership in defense. Johnston-Bailey’s height meshes well with Tanqueray’s competitiveness, and assuming the two can continue to improve on their transition out of defense, they will provide coach John Macuz with a formidable defensive tandem.
Pressure was key for the Revellers to get back into the match and Macuz implored his players from the sideline to stay tight on their opponent and cause a turnover.
‘Team Pressure Acts’ – a stat coined by Macuz – provided the Revellers with multiple opportunities to score four unanswered goals late in the quarter. Ryan was a key initiator in this influx of goals, scoring two of her own.
Ryan’s positives aren’t limited to her phenomenal scoring ability. The 27-year-old’s coaching prowess is well known, and her tutelage on-court showed, directing younger counterpart Camryn Edwards on her movement in the circle.
Multiple costly turnovers from the Heights mid-court allowed the Revellers to score heavily in response late in the second term, to go into the main break only two goals down.
The second half proved to be a true representation of the two teams’ competitiveness, going goal for goal. Without Ryan on court, however, Metro were found wanting for experience and finesse.
Opting to remain with the same line-up for the last term, Macuz again cautioned his players to remain calm under pressure and play one-on-one rather than implementing a zone defence.
Missed opportunities, poor decision-making and turnovers were seemingly the story of the last term for the Revellers, with only three goals for the quarter.
Newcomer Teagan Dowsett, proved to be a solid replacement for Ryan as she develops her fitness and technique. Dowsett developed a partnership with Edwards, scoring six goals out of a total of ten between them for the half.
Heights’ goal shooter once again put on a display of complete accuracy, scoring six from six for the quarter, turning the Revellers defenders inside out, to end the game with Heights running out four-goal winners.
After a ferocious effort to wrestle back control, the Revellers lacked the finesse to finish the game off. As the team approaches the end of the season, a consistent effort across all four quarters will be the focus for the coaching staff.