By Claire Macuz
The Metro Jets took the court on Tuesday night with a strong line up. That line up contained a game changer.
13-year-old Tristan Comans not only aided his Division 6 side to a win, but re-wrote the history books by doing so.
Putting on the goal defense bib, Comans seemed nervous prior to his debut, yet did not show one ounce of unsettling emotions as soon as that siren went.
As an incredible addition and a much-needed defender to the Division 6 side, Comans played out his debut in the defensive half, striding down the court and displaying qualities, skills and knowledge that few 13-year-olds have.
Starting goal keeper Sarah Flanagan noticed his agility and coordination and was excited to take the court alongside Comans.
“Tristan’s presence on court was the element we needed to gel, and once we understood how we could play as a team with him in it, it flowed so well. He fitted in flawlessly and I am excited for the season ahead.” Flanagan said.
The first quarter of the next chapter in Comans’ career began a little edgy, with a few turnovers by him and his teammates, allowing Craigieburn to capitalise and stay close to the Jets on the scoreboard.
Comans and Flanagan controlled the back half, with strong rebounding and majestic drives that sliced through Craigieburn’s attack, each time allowing for an increased level of efficiency.
With an intercept and a rebound in the opening two minutes, Comans fitted in seamlessly as the Jets eventually found rhythm through youngsters Melissa Jones and Scarlett Padden and headed into the first break level at 7 goals apiece.
Georgia Tymms, playing in centre, controlled the ball with wing defence Brooke Zagami, as they continued to develop their fitness in the middle, adapting further with each play.
Tymms, with four intercepts and three deflections for the match, aided with the fluent transition of the ball to the attacking end with precision passing and quick game analysis.
“Analysis should never be underrated in netball,” coach Claire Macuz said.
“There has never been any athlete that has improved without it, and cannot be dismissed as something that any athlete, or in this case, team, can go without. The quicker these girls learn that, the faster the improvement will come, and [Tymms] and [Zagami] are indeed on the path to self-analysis,” she added.
Alongside Tymms stood Tanya Beaumont, playing strong in wing attack, who provided immeasurable leads and finesse of the ball when delivering the ball into the goals. With an average of four goal assists per quarter, Beaumont delivered excellent defensive efforts and an essential link between defence and the goals.
The main break saw the Jets lead by two goals, 13-11, after a strong opening half which delivered exactly what coach Macuz ordered – defence, defence, defence.
“Our hands over the ball pressure caused turnovers and we capitalised. We’ve got to go even further with it this half, because they will come hard,” coach Macuz implored her team in the half time huddle.
Moving out of the circle into wing defence, Flanagan coordinated multiple attacks with Comans and new head-honcho of the circle Morelle Bull, playing in goal keeper. Bull provided a presence inside the circle and was able to utilise quick footwork to her advantage, gaining three deflections and two intercepts for the second half.
Down the opposite end of the court, lively duo Padden and Jones, scored heavily and were providing strong, dynamic leads in and around the circle, allowing for faster ball movement and consequently, and increased number of entries into the goal circle.
Padden took control in the third, creatively driving up and down the court, in and out of the circle and side to side on the base line, aiding the Jets to go in at the last break level pegging with Craigieburn.
Jones lifted strongly in the last, shooting at 94% for the quarter, and continuing her strong performances since being elevated from U17s to Division 6.
The Jets broke away, goal by goal, and demanded a sense of respect as they left the court with a clutch win 29-24 in a much needed victory to get their season rolling.
This team oozes potential and improvement and as they line up against Heights this week, they will need to perform strongly to secure a second win in a row.