ROYAL Hawks have snatched a draw with KWS 1sts, storming back from five goals down to level at 36-all in Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup action on Saturday.
Engaged in an enthralling tussle from the opening centre pass, both KWS and Hawks rode waves of momentum until the two blue girls bolted back from what seemed an unsalvageable position to net eight of the last 10 goals and clinch some all-important division one competition points.
While disappointed her fourth-placed side couldn’t rally to claim maximum points against the sixth-placed KWS 1sts, Royal Hawks’ injured captain Amanda Hurford said she’ll take a draw.
“I think we had to use our experience there,” Hurford said.
“In that last quarter we were five down at one, so to fight back and have that control was pleasing. They’ve proven themselves this week.”
KWS 1sts skipper Maddy Hawthorne said her side was thrilled to have matched it with one of the Toyota Cup’s best sides.
“It was a fantastic game. All of the girls came out and had a really fantastic game,” she said.
“Coming into it, they’re one of the best teams in Orange so we weren’t expecting a win but in the first quarter we came out and we were level and we thought ‘yeah, we can do this’, we kept pushing and it worked out for the best.
“We’re pretty happy with it.”
A close result was on the cards from the outset, with Royal Hawks and KWS 1sts locked at 8-all after the opening quarter.
Some costly turnovers - Royal Hawks twice squandered their centre pass options, forcing turnovers - proved costly for the two blues in the second term, and that was all the invitation KWS 1sts needed to earn a two-goal lead at half-time.
But Hawks started the third quarter well, bagging the opening three goals to hit the lead before a blackout wreaked havoc at Anzac Park.
The power outage stopped the centre’s electronic timing system, and miffed officials called an end to the third term five minutes prematurely with Hawks holding the ascendancy 27-25.
At that point the only result likely was a Hawks victory.
But young shooters Nikki Collins (five goals) and Sophia Cassimatis (six) found their range in the fourth quarter to blitz the students out to a 33-28 lead as time wound down on the round 10 encounter.
A late Hawks fight back, led by eight goals from Laura Kable, saw the two blues draw level.
Cassimatis had a shot to clinch victory right at the death, but the difficulty level proved too much and both sides shared the spoils.
“I think it’s probably to be expected,” Hurford added of her side’s struggles.
“We have a lot of players out, but in saying that I think the girls we’ve got have stepped up and played fantastically for us.
“That Kinross team, we can not take anything away from them. They played really well. they’ve improved out of sight.”
For KWS, the draw ensures they keep touch with the top four.
Hawthorne said a finals berth wasn’t out of the realms of possibility for her team.
“Absolutely, definitely. We’re aiming for the finals now we know we can compete with some of the top teams.”
In other Toyota Cup action, High A came from behind to defeat CYMS Gladiators 40-35, Life Studio got the better of club mates DVM Embroidery 45-40 and Robin Hood Orange Glass hammered Hawks Ace Drilling 73-19.