By Jordan Witte, Claire Macuz & Salv Lupone
After a terrific win against Victoria University, the U15-1 Metro Jets side has continued their solid push through the middle weeks of the season, scoring a 26-18 victory against Banyule.
Missing star defender Bela Hartman to illness, Metro had an uncharacteristically shaky start, scoring just two goals in the opening quarter as Reese Willder supported an injured Nat Williams in defense.
Sloppy play prevented Scarlett Padden and Aimee Harris from having greater influence, and the Jets were lucky to not be further in arrears at the first break.
Coach Kim Dooley urged her squad into action, shifting Holly Rothnie into goals for the second quarter. An emphatic response followed, as Rothnie and Padden turned it on. Ten goals for the quarter – six to Padden from seven attempts, and four to Rothnie from five attempts – and a stingy defensive effort from Williams, Willder and Maddie Usher, gave the Jets the lead at half time.
With the momentum pendulum swinging firmly in favour of the Jets, they pressed home their advantage in the premiership quarter. Padden was given midcourt duties as Harris returned to her familiar goaling position, and the Jets feasted on lapses in Banyule’s defense. Harris shot at 75% for the quarter, ably assisted by Paige Comans and Bec Stingel, while the ultra-consistent Rothnie added another four goals.
With a 22-13 lead at the final break, the Jets eased off the gas a touch. Comans and Stingel paired well in midcourt, as Stingel returned to familiarity in wing attack. The Jets were outscored four goals to five in the final period as Banyule finished the stronger of the two sides, but the damage was well and truly done.
The result – a 26-18 victory – was built off the back of an outstanding defensive performance from Williams, Willder and Usher, who haven’t played a lot of netball together in previous weeks.
Coach Salv Lupone had praise for Harris post-game.
“[Harris] has been working really hard on her consistency and composure,” Lupone said.
“She’s come a really long way.”
The win keeps the Jets in touch with Sunbury, who sit atop the ladder.