Arrows upset Northern Hawks again to advance to State League Netball grand final

APPLAUSE: Northern Hawks goal attack Danni Pickett looks to deliver her side further encouragement after scoring against Arrows on Saturday at Ulverstone. Pictures: Neil Richardson
APPLAUSE: Northern Hawks goal attack Danni Pickett looks to deliver her side further encouragement after scoring against Arrows on Saturday at Ulverstone. Pictures: Neil Richardson

Northern Hawks are refusing to panic after arch nemesis Arrows forced holes in the minor premier’s State League grand final plans.

One defeat all year from 16 games came to nothing when the two-time reigning champions upset the Hawks in the major-semi-final.

Arrows looked like the side of old on Saturday and the Hawks had no answers to a shock 73-64 loss.

Hawks coach Ruth Tuohy was offering no excuses.

“We always know how they play – they have a similar game plan,” she said.

“We knew we needed to come out with intensity.

“Unfortunately, we were too slow, we were watching, we were waiting to see what we were going to do.

“We had the opportunities where we clawed it back, but we could not consistently string it altogether.”

The match was one of two home finals – including for the Cavaliers – that was transferred to Ulverstone to ensure Hobart clubs had to travel further than their Launceston counterparts.

The Silverdome was made unavailable over an early booking for the Dancesport Tasmania Championships. 

But Tuohy dismissed any suggestion that giving up home court for an unfamiliar venue was a factor.

Hawks had already played the Ulverstone court twice this year against Burnie.

“I wouldn’t say the court is an issue,” she said.

“I don’t think so because we probably thought we’d have to play in Hobart anyway when we knew that the Silverdome was unavailable.

“So we were really ready for any part of that and I don’t think that really takes much into what we consider as a part of our gameplan.

“But it’s the same as last year when we went down to Hobart and took the grand final back home – that wasn’t expected either.”

It was the second consecutive time in three meetings this season that Arrows had got the better of the Hawks.

But Tuohy felt the defeated side can take great heart in turning things around.

Last year it was Arrows that were dominant all season before the Hawks ended an astonishing 64-game winning streak in the semi-final.

But the Hobart rival would bounce back over the next fortnight to win the state’s title once again.

“Last year when we did go straight through, it just didn’t worked out for us. So we want to take something from it,” Tuohy said.

Hawks star Ashlea Mawer

Hawks star Ashlea Mawer

“We just have to look out what are we doing differently and how are we going to turn it all around.

“We just need to get behind each other and push into the next game before we can even think of a grand final because there will be no easy game against Cavs.”

Arrows were quick to make their presence felt and were already up 17-10 before the Hawks drew the deficit back to two goals late in the first quarter.

Hawks finally levelled approaching the halfway mark of the second term, but by half-time trailed by six goals.

Tuohy’s charges never got any closer than five goals twice in the second half.

The coach looked to reshuffle the attack in vain, but Arrows’ quick hands and precise passing proved too much to counter.

“We did a few things really well, we get it back, but we drop our heads,” Tuohy said.

“It is disappointing, but it’s a really good learning curve.

“I think we were not quite ready. It’s not going to hurt us to take a look at this and not have the week off.

“Ideally, it’s not a good idea after two fairly physical encounters. We’re really not ready yet and I think the girls understand that. It’s about being accountable now and taking the next game before even thinking any further.”

We’re really not ready yet and I think the girls understand that

Hawks coach Ruth Tuohy

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