Lyden hoping persistence pays as Hawks eye another shot at premiers St Pat’s

HAWKS SOAR TO FINAL: The two blues girls set to take on St Pat's in the 2018 Group 10 league tag grand final.
HAWKS SOAR TO FINAL: The two blues girls set to take on St Pat's in the 2018 Group 10 league tag grand final.

As whacky as it sounds, Jacky Lyden admits she had to fire-up her legs just to get through last weekend’s extra-time, preliminary final thriller with Bathurst Panthers.

She’ll do the same on Sunday if it means her Orange Hawks side gets the chance to lift the 2018 Group 10 league tag premiership, too.

Lyden played an Orange Netball Association major semi-final last Saturday and then backed up for the two blues’ penultimate game of 2018 on the Sunday, a 12-10 victory in extra-time.

The netball game, as well, drifted into extra-time.

Fortunately for Lyden she ended up winning both games and, as a result, the 37-year-old’s two blues will dance with old rivals Bathurst St Pat’s on Sunday’s big stage at Sid Kallas Oval, which is the second time in as many years the two sides have met in the grand final.

“I had to talk to my legs in extra-time on Sunday,” she laughed.

“But I plan on continuing to play. To me, age is just a number. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and I love hanging out with the young girls and it’s good to have a few old heads around … that’s what the club is about.

“It’s the culture we want to instill, the under 18s girls, I teach a lot of them. It’s nice to see where the club is going.”

Sunday’s league tag grand final is Hawks’ shot at redemption.

The two blues went through last year’s regular season undefeated but lost twice in the finals, including the grand final against St Pat’s.

This year the blue and whites haven’t lost a game and despite Hawks only being able to get close in one of their three meetings this season – a 12-8 loss at Wade Park – Lyden is confident her side can lift as it guns for a maiden league tag crown.

She said focusing on the likes of Meredith Jones and Mish Somers will only free up another of St Pat’s strike weapons. 

“We’ve got to focus across the board … but we’ve got our eyes on them, too,” she smiled.

“We can’t turn our backs, we can’t be lazy. We have to push. They’ve got lots of plays, so we have to shut those down.

“We’ve got a mix of old and new this year, we’ve had to rebuild a bit.”

Lyden got tangled up attempting to execute a tag in last week’s 12-10 win over Panthers and the clash with teammate Anna Matthews has unfortunately ended the latter’s year.

Scans are expected to reveal a torn meniscus in Matthews’ left knee.

“I’m so shattered,” Matthews said, on deck at Hawks’ training on Thursday.

“But she’s so good on the sidelines, so there will be lots of encouragement,” Lyden added.

Hawks and St Pat’s play from 10am on Sunday at Cowra.

  • ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Jes Pearson, 2 Millie Hofer, 3 Bridie McClure, 4 Katie Cutcliffe, 5 Lilly Baker, 6 Bec Ford, 7 Em McDonald, 8 Jacky Lyden, 9 Ella Harris, 10 Ella Barrett, 11 Prue Hancock, 12 Sophie Humphris, 13 Courtney Morgan; Bench: 14 Cheynoah Merchant, 15 Haley Butcherine, 16 Megan Brown, 18 Sheryll Selwood