The Central Coast Heart claimed their second win of the competition when they defeated Panthers, 62-47, in Round 4 action of the 2016 Samsung Premier League last night, Wednesday 11 May at Netball Central.
The fifth-place Heart led at every break, but it was off the back of their solid second-half performance that they were able to overcome the Panthers who have moved from fourth to seventh pace following the defeat.
Central Coast were able to open the scoring, however it was the Panthers that began strongest of the two by quickly getting out to a five goal lead early in opening first quarter. This advantage was short lived as the Heart settled into the match to regain the lead, which they would not surrender for the remainder of the match.
The Heart’s defenders provided a strong backbone for their side’s victory, doing well to limit the influence of the Panthers’ shooters. But it was a full-team effort as the midcourters put strong pressure over the Panthers’ feeders to give their circle defenders opportunity to turnover possession.
It was clear as the game crept towards half-time that the Heart had settled into their style of play, which after a solid third quarter performance saw them extend their lead from four, out to 10 goals. Heart shooter Madeleine Taylor led her side’s charge by showing rhythm and confidence in her shot, having a strong impact on where it mattered most – the scoreboard.
The Heart maintained their strong defence and composure, all the while further extending their lead to post a 15-goal victory.
The Heart will now face UTS St George Sparks next Wednesday 18 May in Round 5 action at Netball Central.
Meanwhile the Panthers U20s held off a strong final quarter fight back from the Heart to secure their third win of the 2016 Samsung Primer League season.
Despite growing their lead at every break, the Panthers were met by a spirited Heart side in the fourth quarter; however were able to hold on to post 49-46 victory after Heart won the final quarter 13 goals to nine.
The relentless Panthers full court defence proved difficult for the Heart to penetrate to allow their shooters to have influence on the scoreboard, which began to sway to the Panthers advantage. A two goal lead quickly grew to eleven giving the Panthers their biggest lead of the match.
But the Heart’s work rate didn’t drop as they clawed back two quick goals to go into the first half break with a nine-goal deficit.
This gap was maintained for the remainder of the third until the Heart found some momentum, going on a 6-1 run to give themselves a fighting chance and threatening to take the lead.
With ten minutes remaining to play and four goals the difference, the Heart could sense a win, with their shooting combination of Doorn and Hawley keeping their side in the contest. At this point the momentum of the game had shifted and the Heart was brimming with confidence.
Heart were back within one goal before a Panthers injury time out saw personnel changes, briefly interrupting Heart’s strong-hold on the contest. With both benches on their feet willing their teammates on, the intensity was ripe and both teams’ passion was on full display.
But credit to the Panthers who were able to hold out Heart to finish off the match.