Heat 3 began their 2023-24 NFNL senior summer netball campaign in terrific style, following an 18-goal win over Hurstbridge 2 at Community Bank Stadium.
It was Heat’s 10-1 second quarter that broke the match open, allowing them to maintain control of the game throughout on their way to the 35-17 victory.
A goal for goal first term put the players to the test in the opening match of the season, as the adrenaline of the match saw both sides capitalise on intercepts.
Particularly prominent in the first quarter were Hurstbridge defensive duo Taya Agosta and Alis Stocco, who ensured each intercept would positively impact their side as they went on the attack.
The pressure from a tight contest reflected on the scoreboard at the end of the opening term as Heat held a narrow two-goal lead.
But they would dominate the second term, outscoring the Bridges by nine goals to open the game right up.
This time it was Heat’s defenders that were having a say on the match, with Emily Page and Kelsey Peachman exceptional in the defensive third.
Lagi Faale showed her versatility in the midcourt, playing both wing positions exceptionally well.
In attack, she was directing play with her energy at a constant high while also constantly being in the prime feeding position for her fellow shooters. In defence, her structure around the circle edge allowed her to get deflections and pickups where she would then do a mountain of work in attack.
Down by 11 goals heading into the second half, Hurstbridge opted for multiple on-court changes, which saw them produce a seven-goal term in the hopes of reducing the deficit.
But Heat’s Madison Walker had other ideas. After her 12-goal first half, she scored six goals in the third to keep the scoreboard ticking for her side.
The third term was arguably her best quarter technique wise also, as she was accurate and was able to win multiple rebounds. Her partnership with Tahlia McLaren was effective, with their on-court chemistry making it seem as if they’d been playing together for several years.
With a 12-goal advantage approaching the final term, Heat refused to turn down the pressure, as they produced another 10-goal quarter, while keeping the Bridges to only four.
Heat’s defensive unit continued to win gains, forcing Hurstbridge to misdirect their balls inside the attacking third.
It all went downhill for the Bridgers after the last break scoring only four for the term. There was disconnection in the attack end with several balls going straight over the baseline. Credit is due to Heats defence causing enough pressure to win gains and convert it down the other end.
Overall, it was a strong opening round win from Heat, who will be looking to maintain their form throughout the remainder of grading and beyond.