Cavaliers set to face Northern Hawks after first win in State League netball finals

EYES UP: Cavaliers captain Kate Gibson focuses on the net in her team's meritorius win over Kingston.
EYES UP: Cavaliers captain Kate Gibson focuses on the net in her team's meritorius win over Kingston.

Cavaliers have set up a tantalising crosstown battle next week against Northern Hawks on the back of the Dannie Carstens-coached side producing their best game of the year on Saturday.

Despite trading goals from the outset, Cavaliers hit the front and never surrendered their lead during the next 57 minutes towards a 52-44 win over Kingston at Ulverstone.

The turnaround in fortunes from two earlier losses to the Blues was indicative of belief in the gameplan.

“We certainly know that we are peaking at the right time of the year. So the back half of it has been outstanding for us,” Carstens said.

“Gosh, the girls really just put it altogether today.

“So we played to our strengths, which is knowing our roles really well through the court and with speed.

“But also really knowing how to control our speed and those connections for our feed that worked so well.”

Cavaliers had bewildered Kingston through the early parts of the game, taking the ascendancy with their fierce hunger for the ball but equally a smash-mouth defence.

They shut down Kingston’s deep drive in attack that hurt them in the regular season.

After scoring six of the last eight goals of the opening term to lead by five at the break, the Cavs stretched that lead quickly out to eight goals heading into half-time.

“It was all about making sure that we had variety in this game and we kept them guessing,” Carstens said.

“We got a huge amount of depth off our bench and that we can mix things up when things aren’t working.”

Kingston never got closer than within six goals that blew out to 10 near the death.

Defenders Dana Lester and Issy Maskell, and midcourters Lucy Dennis and Shelby Miller took control of the knockout final that was played on their terms.

“I think there was certainly opportunities to keep building and progressing more and more throughout the game,” Carstens said.

“We know we’re the type of team that we know we don’t blow teams away in the first five minutes or a quarter.

“We’re more of a team that will grind teams down. We’ve got to make sure when we get those opportunities that we capitalise off of them.”

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