By Jordan Witte and Claire Macuz
A severely undermanned Metro Jets Premier Open Division 2 side fought hard, but ultimately fell short against fifth-placed St. Therese’s in the late game on Tuesday night.
Still searching for their first victory of the season – they have secured two points due to a draw with DC Force – the Jets couldn’t contain a fast, physical Saints midcourt.
Senior player Kathryn Hard, who crossed from Seymour with centre Jess Hogan, was extremely influential throughout the game, as her size and movement caused problems for the Saints defenders.
Her passing to 17-year-old goal shooter Haylee Wilcox was a highlight, as passes just barely squeaked past outstretched Saints hands to set Wilcox up on multiple occasions.
Elle Kamay provided her usual energy and spark, combining well with her attacking partners to put scoreboard pressure on the Saints early in the game.
The Jets were in the game at half time, trailing by just seven goals early in the third quarter. Two goals to Hard, after some nice work from Hogan, vice-captain Kali Fraser and captain Jacky Rooney, reduced the margin to just five.
St Therese’s are renowned for their physical netball, and it was evident they were out to prove their point on Tuesday night.
At one stage, Hard earned a penalty in the centre third, near the circle. Instead of letting the Jet stroll to the goal circle unencumbered, St. Therese’s centre attempted to keep Hard from the goal circle for half a court, putting body pressure on the whole way down the court, while the ball was out of play.
Gina Blake and Courtney Czak battled strongly in the defensive circle. Czak’s athleticism was on display, as she read a pass late in the third quarter, charging up the court and leaping to deflect the ball, earning applause from her teammates.
Despite their best intentions, the Jets couldn’t put a dent in the lead. The Saints had an answer for everything, and ultimately sent the Jets home with precious little to show for their consistent effort.
The Saints would prove too much in the end, running away with a 24-37 win, cementing their status as finals contenders and condemning the Jets to a fifth straight loss.
It’s not all bad for Metro though. In spite of their results taken on face value, the Jets have only really been blown out twice, pushing their opponents all the way several times.
They are also one of two teams (Westside being the other) that have gotten within 5 goals of undefeated ladder leaders Doncaster.