By Jordan Witte and Claire Macuz
Metro Revellers’ Division 4 team has ridden an assist-laden performance from its midcourt and exemplary use of the Five zone to a 33-29 victory over Moonee Valley Eagles on Tuesday night.
With nothing less than a win acceptable if the Revellers were to remain in contention for finals, a fired-up outfit came out with intent against the fifth-placed Eagles.
In a seesawing first quarter, it was the Eagles that settled faster, with the height of their shooters troubling both Alyce Kruse and Gabbi Bassi. It could have been much worse for the Revellers at quarter time, if not for an uncharacteristic cold streak from the Eagles goal shooter – bricking her last four attempts on goal for the quarter.
Coach Megghan Ryan introduced livewire Rebecca Francis to the mix in the second quarter, replacing Bassi in goal defence. The defender made her presence felt almost immediately, with several deflections and a key interception as the Revellers steadied the ship.
Francis has played a vital role off the bench for Division 4 this season with her ability to read the play and contribute in a variety of positions. The spring-heeled 17-year-old played three quarters in last night’s victory; recording 3 intercepts to go with 4 deflections.
If bookmakers offered markets on Tuesday night netball competitions at Parkville, one would only have to watch the Revellers’ 16-year-old shooter Heidi Macuz to know which way to bet.
The youngster has an uncanny knack of presenting herself as the barometer for the team. Has her first goal gone in? Get on, the Revellers are going places. Did she miss? They’re up against it tonight.
Thankfully for Revellers fans everywhere, Macuz’s first shot at goal for the evening touched nothing but net.
As the teams tussled for control of the game, it was Macuz who stood up, with five goals in a row – three assisted by Beccy Lewis and two by Ally Brown – to drag the Revellers clear.
Lewis continued her recent stellar form, totaling five assists for the quarter and eventually ending with an astounding nine for the game in a compelling display. Brown’s addition of three assists pushed the Revellers to a four-goal lead at the long break.
They would not be headed again.
Good teams rise to the occasion in crunch time, and these Revellers are a good team. Whatever has gone against them this season – key players being unavailable, injuries, questionable umpiring decisions – they have rocked up and given teams 40 minutes of uncompromising netball.
When it all comes together, the Revellers are better than their ladder position would suggest.
When it all comes together, the Revellers are a formidable outfit that goes for the throat.
It all came together in the third quarter of Tuesday night’s game.
The Eagles could have been forgiven for thinking they might work their way back into the contest with a decent showing, setting up a huge last quarter.
In 15 minutes, Metro put their hopes to bed, killing off any chance of a comeback with a white-hot display of pressure netball. Implementing their “Five” zone, the Revellers put the clamps on the Eagles, suffocating their movement through the court.
Let’s throw some numbers in the mix.
A combined 10/14 shooting for the quarter from Macuz and partner Arabella Williams, including a run of six goals straight to extend the Metro lead to 11 goals.
Nine combined assists from Brown, Williams and captain Claire Macuz. Four team intercepts. Five deflections. A game-low four turnovers for the team. And most importantly, a stingy defensive performance from Kruse and Francis, limiting the Eagles to just four goals for the quarter.
With the result beyond doubt, Metro took the foot off the pedal in the last quarter, coasting to a four-goal win and keeping their faint hopes of a finals spot very much alive.
Metro will have to rely on other results going their way for the remainder of the season, but they have satisfied the most important criteria for their season for another week.
They came away with a win.
Lineup: A. Kruse, G. Bassi, C. Macuz, A. Brown, B. Lewis, A. Williams, H. Macuz, R. Francis
H. Macuz: 24/31
A. Williams: 9/15
Votes: B. Lewis 3 H. Macuz 2 R. Francis 1