by Jordan Witte & Claire Macuz
A sluggish start from the Division 6 Metro Jets side has ultimately been their downfall, as Eastside ran rampant to clinch a 20-33 victory on Tuesday night.
The Jets took time to get going against the second-placed team in Division 6, trailing 3-7 early in the first quarter, and never managed to make a dent in Eastside’s well-constructed lead.
Co-captain Scarlett Padden, goal defense Tristan Comans and Georgia Tymms all represented the club at the VCNA tournament the prior Sunday, and their experience playing against bigger bodies came in handy, as Eastside brought the hammer with a side stacked with tall players.
Eastside’s goal shooter did the bulk of the damage in the first quarter, getting the enemy off to a perfect start. Metro’s defensive stocks took a blow early in the game with Comans suffering a toe injury, which he would play through at reduced effectiveness.
Padden and goal shooter Melissa Jones had an uncharacteristically off night shooting the netball, while co-captain Tanya Beaumont struggled to make an impact in wing attack.
Comans was moved onto the Eastside shooting ace in the second quarter, blunting her effectiveness as coach Claire Macuz begged for body pressure. The 13-year-old goal defense responded with improved defensive persistence, halving several contests as Eastside threatened to run away with the game.
Tymms’ reinvention in centre has been a highlight of her game so far this season, and her good form from her Sunday VCNA tournament play continued, as her drives finished deep in the pockets, causing problems for Eastside’s midcourt.
The Jets would get back within five goals in the third quarter to briefly threaten Eastside’s stranglehold over the game, but the second-placed team on the ladder is there for a reason.
Frighteningly accurate shooting from the red, white and black put the game beyond reach in the final half of the third quarter, and it continued into the last quarter as the Jets struggled to finish off strong work from their midcourt.
Sarah Flanagan, Morelle Bull, Comans and Brooke Zagami had good defensive intentions, but were largely powerless to stop a rampaging Eastside attacking thrust throughout the game.
“Our movement in the midcourt wasn’t actually too bad, we moved the ball really well,” coach Macuz said. “We just couldn’t buy a goal for whatever reason.”
“Eastside didn’t miss, and we were off all night. That’s the difference.”
Padden echoed Macuz’s lamentations, highlighting Metro’s inability to finish their good work.
“We wanted to win, we just didn’t put in the effort to do the little things,” she said.
“We needed to come forward more, we needed to use our systems. We had the energy to win, we just didn’t use it as well as we could have.”
The Jets stay in fifth position as a result of the loss to Eastside, with a crucial match against the sixth-placed Victoria University Vultures next up.