By Ashleigh Melanko
Despite a strong start, the Curtin Hamersley Comets were unable to hold off the East Freo Sharks in Round 6 of the Gold Industry Group WANL at the State Netball Centre on Friday night.
This win sees the Sharks retain their third position on the ladder, while the Comets remain winless, despite building in performance over the past two weeks.
The Comets started strongly, matching the Sharks goal for goal, with Wing Attack Toni-Marie Smith and Centre Georgia Morgan integral in giving the Comets their first quarter win of the season, as they look a two-goal lead into quarter time.
The Comets’ momentum carried into the second quarter, as they extended their lead thanks to strong feeds to shooter Sarah East, while Head Coach Alexis Stevens injected Ellie Sanzone into the Centre late in the quarter.
A number of late turnovers from the Comets midcourt allowed the Sharks to capitalise and take a three goal buffer into the main break.
Stevens made a number of changes to her side in the second half, bringing Sarah Campbell into Goal Defence and Erin Smith into Goal Attack, but Smith was replaced after give minutes by original Goal Attack Tracey Swami.
The Sharks were relentless in punishing turnovers, as they pushed their lead out to 10 goals at three quarter time.
Defender Jess Penny was crucial in turning the ball over for the Sharks, as they scored 13 goals to seven in the final term to run out 16 goal winners.
Head Coach Sue Gerrard said she was pleased with her side’s performance, despite the slow start.
“In the third quarter we got the ball back a lot, but we threw it away, so I think we need to treasure possession a lot more,” she said.
“We talked about making better decisions on court and keep continuing the pressure and I think the overall defensive pressure we put out and they made mistakes where as in the first quarter we were making mistakes.”
The Sharks now face a big challenge against the in form Warriors, while the Comets will travel to Eaton to face the Jets.
East Freo Sharks
Katie Swetman 50/65 (77%)
Emma Cosh 6/11 (55%)
Curtin Hamersley Comets
Sarah East 25/36 (69%)
Tracey Swami 12/19 (63%)
Erin Smith 1/1 (100%)
Kristy Horner 2/2 (100%)