Hawks play the long game ahead of finals | Mininera and District Netball Association

TEAM EFFORT: Tatyoon is hoping to reduce the pressure on in-form goalie Maggie Astbury in the lead-up to finals. Picture: Peter Pickering

TEAM EFFORT: Tatyoon is hoping to reduce the pressure on in-form goalie Maggie Astbury in the lead-up to finals. Picture: Peter Pickering

Tatyoon will face off against Lismore-Derrinallum to lock in a top two spot at Tatyoon on Saturday.

Hawks’ goal attack Maggie Astbury has been in stellar form and will again be the main threat under goals for the Demons.

Astbury pushes herself to obtain the prime position in the goal circle and is generally a great finisher.

She has great knowledge of the game and continues to improve each week.

If the Demons are to have a chance in this match, they will need to shut down Astbury’s influence down the court and on the scoresheet with Eliza Lanyon her likely opponent.

Lanyon has grown into the goal defence position for the Demons this season, with her ability to read the ball and keep her opponent close.

After a great couple of games from the Demons following the bye, which saw them remain in the finals hunt, they unfortunately let the last few matches slip.

This pushed them too far behind some of the other sides, however, they will be looking to finish the season strongly.

Tatyoon have been playing a wonderful team game, with every player on the court contributing to their success.

Although they have cemented their spot in the top three, the Hawks won’t be taking their foot off the pedal.

On paper the Hawks should be too strong for the Demons, but Lismore-Derrinallum have shown they are capable of playing a brand of netball competitive with finals sides.

Tatyoon coach Maryanne McDougall said the team is already looking ahead towards finals.

“It does not matter if we finish second or third, it will not change where we play or who we play,” she said.

“So we will start to focus on trying different combinations across the court in the lead-up to finals.

“It is hard to keep the continuity within the team while trying to experiment with other things, so our players will need to adjust to that and learn their roles in different areas of court.”

McDougall said spreading the load across different players was important going into the business end of the season, particularly regarding scoring.

“We have also been focusing on supporting Maggie Astbury in goals and ensuring the other goalie is scoring regularly as well to take the pressure of her,” she said.

The team is confident they can improve on last year’s semi-final finish and will use the last two matches to work on weaknesses.

“We have got everyone on the training track and no injuries to worry about at this stage,” McDougall said. “All our players are a lot hungrier and know what it takes now.” 

Match starts at 1pm.

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