Claws lose hard game
NETBALL: Netball a sport of little physical contact but Capricorn Claws coach is wondering if that is really the case after her bruised and battered team lost to Yellow Cab Lions by 36-33 in a thriller yesterday.
After starting slowly the Claws put in a great performance in the second half that had the large crowd buzzing.
It was no place for the faint hearted with some of the contact between players making even battle hardened rugby league warriors Gary Larson and Jason Hetherington, who were part of the crowd, wince.
Ahmat admitted the aggressive approach of the Lions was a major surprise as they had played more like a team of pussycats when beaten the previous day by Whitsunday.
The tactics of the visitors worked and Ahmat admitted some of her players were intimidated and this prompted them to be expecting contact with every pass received.
“There were some high shots in there,” she said.
“They were worried about their teammates.”
Despite the physical nature of the contest, the Claws only let the Lions slip away in the second quarter when they took a four goal lead.
Ahmat was forced to make changes around the court to try and get cohesion in the team and also to help struggling players who were suffering due to it being the second game of the weekend.
“I was proud of the girls as we were still in there fighting until the last ten seconds,” Ahmat said.
“But it was a lesson for us as you have to stay focused.”
While many of the players will probably sport bruises, captain Carmen Anderson ended up in hospital after dislocating a finger.
What a difference for the Claws as the night before, also at CQUniversity, they had been irresistible against the Golden South Jaguars.
Again it was a thriller but on that occasion it was the Claws that came out a winner by 37-33.
Kira-Lee Leo at goal shoot linked up well with her goal attack Poppy Larson in what was expected to be the hardest game of the weekend for the Claws.
Defensively the Claws were superb, forcing the Jags shooters to try from distance while the intercepts made by wing defence Shanita Smith earned her the Rockhampton Leagues Club best on court for the Claws.
She added to her growing reputation in the game with Lions by taking over at wing attack and then centre after Anderson left the court.
The Claws remain in the top six but will look anxiously as other results come in before booking their plane tickets for the finals.