Avenel put on a netball masterclass on Saturday to claim a convincing 35-goal win over Ardmona.
Despite the ladder position differences, it was a crucial victory for the Swans on the eve of finals and their premiership defence.
The Swans had a scintillating start to the season, where they went undefeated until their second bout with Nagambie in round 13, but the wheels had fallen off somewhat in the past month.
Avenel lost two of its final six games, however the Swans had done enough early in the season to ensure those losses didn’t hamper their top-two aspirations, and they finished in second spot on the ladder, behind Nagambie on percentage only.
Injuries have played a key part in the Swans’ downfall in recent weeks, but coach Tegan Hanson is happy with where her side sits heading into September.
‘‘Defensively we did a great job on Saturday, especially in the first half,’’ Hanson said.
‘‘We let them score a few extra goals in the second half but overall we were pretty good.
‘‘Attacking-wise we scored 50-plus goals, and we’ve been averaging about 20 to 30 goals a game, so that was a big positive as well.
‘‘We knew we had to start improving that aspect of our game so it was great to get a good score on the board.’’
With Ardmona sitting second from the bottom on the table, Saturday’s match was more-or-less a formality for the Swans, but Hanson said they still wanted to ensure they executed their game plan to a tee with finals looming.
And they did exactly that.
‘‘Everything we did at training, in terms of preliminary movement and defensive pressure, the girls were able to do that on the weekend,’’ Hanson said.
‘‘They still made a few mistakes but were able to turn the ball over and go again, and that’s one of our strengths.’’
Kate Bishop was solid in her second match back from injury.
The versatile Bishop played a half in goal-attack, before switching to defence where she was at her best.
Under-17 gun Allyssa Quigg also enjoyed some court time and could play a big part in the top-tier side come finals.
Erin Engel was another to star, while Mackenzie Garner continued her rapid rise up the ranks with another impressive performance.
‘‘Allyssa is learning so much each time she comes up, and you can see each time she has that A-grade experience she gets better and better,’’ Hanson said.
‘‘Erin started in goal-keeper and then played in wing-defence in the last quarter and I lost count of how many intercepts and turnovers she got. She just reads the play so well.’’
Owing to their second-placed finish, the Swans will enjoy a week off this week before taking on rival Nagambie the following week.
Saturday’s game was the last of the home-and-away season, and with coach Marl missing for the day, the girls were determined to play a hard, contested game, and it was important to the entire team to finish off well and to stay disciplined in their game plan.
It was a fast flowing game with everyone contributing to a well-balanced 60-21 win.
Awards went to Teagan McCarthy for an outstanding goaling game and Gen Gordan for her versatility of switching from attack to defence with ease.
The C-grade side had a fantastic win over Ardmona at the weekend, 49-19.
It was a whole team effort with the girls sticking to their structures across all four quarters.
The girls came away with a win against Ardmona for their last game of the season.
Taylah played a great game in centre and midcourt alongside Steph who became the shooter in the last quarter, and both girls received awards.
It was a good game to finish on.
An excellent game played by all against Ardmona at home.
Shooters Temisha and Charli played awesomely together, managing 87 goals, with Sophie dominating in the centre.
Our defenders Mitch and Steph worked tirelessly all game with several turnovers and intercepts.
We continued to rotate our midcourters throughout the game and they all put in an excellent team effort.
Awards went to Temisha and Sophie.
We just missed out on finals but the coaches and team manager (Kelly, Bec and Sarah) are exceptionally proud of each and every one of you and all your efforts.
You have all came along way and should be proud of yourselves.
— Lower grade reports supplied by Avenel FNC