By Claire Macuz and Jordan Witte
“Losing is essential to anyone’s success. The more you lose, the more you want to win.”
– Brett Hull
Metro Revellers Division 5 suffered a cringe worthy one goal defeat on Tuesday night at the hands of Melbourne University Netball Club (MUNC), after a crucial turnover in the dying seconds of the match.
It would be ignorant of any writer to neglect the game played by defender Mikayla Johnston-Bailey. Johnston-Bailey had a stellar match, with one rebound, eight deflections, three intercepts and only a single turnover.
Only a single turnover. Class.
After exceedingly improved efforts over the last month of games, Johnston-Bailey is a force to be reckoned with in defence.
Moving up the court throughout the match, Johnston-Bailey provided drive, height and a clear target as the Revellers cleared the ball out of MUNC’s attack.
Coupled with the angelic movements from wing attack Alanna Macuz, who had a strong game with nine goal assists, Johnston-Bailey’s ability to deliver the ball into the centre third was much easier than prior matches.
Wing defence Jenna Dean held her opposing wing attack well, and played off her with un-compromising leads to aid in the delivery of the ball from defence to attack. With three intercepts and three deflections for the match, Dean provided strength in defence and caused sense of uncertainty for the MUNC players whenever they mounted an attack.
After going goal for goal through the first term, the Revellers went in only two goals down at the first break, with goal attack Camryn Edwards and goal shooter Megghan Ryan shooting three goals apiece.
A second quarter positional change by coach John Macuz saw Johnston-Bailey and key defender Imogen Tanqueray swapped – an intimidating combination for a defensive duo. The change allowed Johnston-Bailey to restrict the movements of the opposing goal shooter for MUNC to just three goals for the second term, after going seven from seven attempts in the first.
A massive quarter by MUNC increased their lead to six goals at the main break, with the goal attack getting into the game with five goals for the quarter.
Good decision-making was hard to come by for the Revellers and led to a weakened team effort, which saw a drop in the high-possession game that was employed in the first term, going into the half-time break down 10-16.
Ryan took the game by the throat in the third term, slaughtering her opponent, with eight goals from nine attempts. Brilliant movement and precision passing into the goals by both Ryan and Macuz, allowed the Revellers to get back to a four goal deficit, and set themselves up for a monumental last quarter.
The Revellers have only won one match for the season, and just three games out from the finals they are seeking a vital win or two, to secure their place on the ladder and prevent a last-placed relegation to the division below.
Going into the last quarter with this very much in mind, the Revellers scored heavily through Ryan once again, with six goals from nine attempts (77%), to even up the scores at 29 apiece with just minutes left in the match.
Just seconds later, the Revellers scored from a decisive intercept by Macuz, playing in centre, to take the lead 30-29.
Defensive pressure dropped significantly by the Revellers at this point, alongside vital decision-making efforts, causing a lack of leads down the court to be able to create fluid movement and develop another attack against MUNC. This should have secured the win for the Revellers.
Maybe a lack of experience of being in a position requiring caution and class was the Revellers’ downfall, or it simply could have been an increased level of defensive pressure applied by MUNC knowing that the game was on the line.
Whichever is more applicable, the Revellers made the most crucial mistake – a turnover – one that caused coach Macuz to drop his head in disappointment.
The final siren rang only seconds later, much to the dismay of Macuz, and saw the Revellers go down by one goal, 30-31.
The Revellers definitely showed what they are capable of, taking the game to MUNC, who were just above them on the ladder sitting in 10th position.
A definite show of class was in order in the quickly diminishing final minutes, however, if one was to step back and analyse the game in its entirety, the Revellers flourished in this new-found motivation and determination to be better.
They were better, and will definitely get better from here.
Line-up: I. Tanqueray, M. Johnston-Bailey, J. Dean, G. De Castella, A. Macuz, M. Ryan, C. Edwards, T. Dowsett
M. Ryan 20/26
C. Edwards 9/15
T. Dowsett 1/3
Votes: M. Johnston-Bailey 3 M. Ryan 2 A. Macuz 1