Newcastle netball: BNC Whanau fight back to score crucial win in battle for finalsphotos
Former national league basketball star Mikaela Dombkins looms as BNC Whanau’s X-factor heading to the finals after her pivotal role in a crucial43-40 comeback win in the Newcastle Netball Open Championship on Saturday.
OUT IN FRONT: Wing defence Danielle Van De Werken in action for Wests Leagues Balance during their big win on Saturday at National Park. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
The victory over Souths Pride took BNC to 30 points and level with Forsythes Business Advisors, who lost 62-24 to leaders West Leagues Balance (38). Second-placed Souths Lions moved to 36 with a 68-21 win over Junction Stella.
Maryville Tavern were one point adrift of BNC before the weekend but their finals hopes faded in a nail-biting 35-34 loss to Nova Thunder.They are now three points behind with two rounds to play.
BNC trailed 11-7 at the first break then were down 22-14 at half-time. Coach Cherie Aoake-Puru switchedDombkins from shooter to goal keeper for the second half and it paid dividends.
BNC find X-factor in push for play-offs TweetFacebook Wests Leagues Balance v Forsythes Business AdvisorsJonathan Carroll images“She ended up shutting their shooter down,” Aoake-Puru said. “Lucy Geise went into shooter and shot at around 90 per cent for us.”
Aoake-Puru said Dombkins’ basketball skills made her very unpredictable for opposing teams.
Dombkins joined BNC midway through this season.
BNC take on Forsythes in a battle for outright third place next round.
“It was a frustrating win but an important win,”Aoake-Puru said.
“We need to be more consistent all over the court and our finishing needs to be better.
“Our defence are getting us the ball but we need to capitalise on what they are turning over at our shooting end.”
Maryville Tavern nearly staged a crucial comeback of their own after trailing 12-4 at the first break, 21-14 at half-time then 28-23 heading into the final period.
“It will be tough for us to make the finals now,”Maryville Tavern coach Ben Dunn said.
They lost goal defence Tracy Patton to a season-ending knee injury on the eve of the game.
“We had a makeshift defence today but credit to them, they hardly missed all day,”he said.
“But we kept pushing and experience is what kept us in there until the end.”