Five Hunter women remain undefeated thus far in the NSW Premier League season, with the Central Coast Heart cohort claiming another victory over the Panthers on Wednesday evening, while Victoria Aoake’s GWS Fury remain in top spot.
Heart’s seven-goal victory over the league’s current cellar-dwellers, the Panthers, didn’t exactly go to plan however, with head coach Amber Cross revealing the team won just one of the four quarters during Wednesday’s clash.
“We got the win, and I’m happy with the two points for sure, but we won the first quarter by ten goals and then ended up only winning by seven,” Cross said. “That drop off isn’t fantastic, and we’ll be working on that to make sure we can keep the consistency up.”
Cross also revealed the squad were shortened to eight players after Newcastle’s Sophie Buckley (virus) and Lauren Moore (ANL commitments) were ruled out of the third round clash. Despite the absences “testing fitness levels”, Cross believes one positive was the chance to give more women extra minutes on court.
That included Tarsha Hawley, who played the first half of the match in combination with fellow Novocastrian Maddie Taylor, and Cross said she was “really pleased” with the options Hawley offered the team.
Heart’s coach also pointed to Natarlia Bridges’ first full match due to the absences, with Bridges “standing out against a tall shooter” with her “smart play”, as she put in three quarters as keeper and one as goal defence.
Newcastle’s final undefeated player in the NSW Premier League is Aoake, who’s club GWS Fury retained control of the top of the table with their 52-49 win over Manly Warringah.
Fury has streaked to a 3-0 start to the season, and will look to continue their soaring campaign against UTS Sparks next week.
North Shore United also recorded a victory, knocking off the previously undefeated ERNA Hawks 51-48. Sabina Gomboso – star shooter for Forsythes in the Greater Open Championship – plays shooter for United.
Her side recorded their first victory after two defeats in the opening weeks saw them mixed among the bottom of the table, and the two points move United and Gomboso to fifth, just two points behind the defeated Hawks.
In the under 20s, Central Coast Heart’s squad bounced back from a tight defeat last week, dismantling Panther’s junior side 61-35.
North Shore United’s under 20s won 51-44, and GWS Fury’s juniors claimed a 52-34 win over Manly Warringah.
The results see just North Shore’s juniors remain undefeated after three rounds, while Heart move back into second place with their now-bloated goal percentage.
OPENS TABLE: GWS Fury, Central Coast (6), ERNA, Manly (4), North Shore, Sutherland (2), UTS, Panthers (0).