Young Claws still in the hunt for finals spot
NETBALL: The Capricorn Claws under-19 side will walk a finals tightrope over the coming weeks as they look to sneak into the top four ahead of the Queensland State Netball League finals later this month.
The young Claws currently sit outside a finals position and can only mathematically achieve a fourth-placed finish.
Suncoast Lynx currently hold down fourth spot and would need to lose their final three matches for the Claws to sneak in - providing the Claws can do the opposite and finish the season with three consecutive wins.
The Claws have won five out of 13 games during an injury-plagued season and face a difficult task against quality opposition during their final three matches.
Three of their players went down with injury last weekend - defenders McKennan McIndoe (ankle) and Tori Rouse (back) and centre Emily Bleney (knee) - meaning the 19s have called on Claws open recruits to bolster their ranks.
With the season over for the opens, Rebecca Hall (goal keeper) and Lily Bartlem (defender and shooter) will now line up with the 19s, who travel to Brisbane this weekend to take on the Golden South Jaguars and the Brisbane Easts Tigers.
Assistant coach Katrina Whitham believes her side can still pull off a finals miracle.
"I think the girls can win their next game - we're in with a chance,” she said.
Whitham said the QSNL season, which started in March, had been a long and gruelling one for the Claws with the majority of the squad having to juggle school, university, training and playing commitments while travelling to Brisbane frequently.
"Some of these kids are still at school which takes a lot of commitment which can be hard to balance out,” she said. "It's a big workload. Things need to change next year because travelling really takes a toll on you.”