By Zac Lisle
Monash University Storm’s Under 19s team has beaten the City West Falcons by one goal in a dramatic finish at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Wednesday night.
A Stephanie Gibbs goal in the last minute proved to be the match-winner for Monash, who managed to hold off the fast finishing Falcons.
Storm Coach Joh Curran was full of praise for her side after the win, saying that hard work on the training track was starting to pay off.
“I’m really happy with what the girls put out on court tonight,” Curran said.
“Particularly because we had a certain focus at training and they went out there and implemented everything we’d worked on…we’ve had a few rough weeks so (it’s) a massive confidence boost”
The Storm were in control of the game from the start, notably through the work rate and play of attackers Gibbs and Ally Kilpatrick.
“We’ve been working really hard on getting that attack end to gel,” Curran said.
“Ally Kilpatrick, who’s only really new to the team this year, really stood up…I was really happy with her.”
Hard work defensively from Caitlin Watson and Tilly Garrett allowed Monash to find more avenues to goal in the second quarter, as well as the inclusion of Monique Tarrant, who was moved up in to the Championship team mid-season.
“We never say no to Monique coming back in,” Curran said.
“She was obviously a really important contributor last year, winning our best and fairest, and then it’s fantastic she’s been given the opportunity up in Championship, but to have her back tonight…she played a crucial role in that win.”
The third quarter saw strong play from Monash’s mid court, with Kaela Hughes, Hannah Flanders, Tarrant, and Zali Mifsud all playing their part. Mifsud in particular continued her strong form, and the Storm took a six-goal lead into the final break.
Curran said beating an old rival made the win more special.
“(It was) the team we beat last year in the Grand Final, so I guess it had a bit more meaning to it,” she said.
“To get back on the winners page against the top side is a really good way to kick off what is hopefully a successful next part of the season.”
The Storm take on tenth-placed Booroondara Express next Wednesday night.