The Victorian Netball League regular season came to a close on Wednesday night at the State Netball and Hockey Centre, paving the way for an exciting finals series.
There were no surprises in Round 18 with the City West Falcons, DC North East Blaze and Geelong Cougars taking out the Championship, Division One and 19/Under Minor Premierships respectively.
Falcons Championship Captain Maggie Lind was pleased with her side’s 17-goal victory against the Peninsula Waves.
“It was a pretty tough battle but we expected that as they had nothing to lose, but we are really happy to finish on top,” Lind said.
The Falcons now face a short turnaround before taking on the Melbourne University Lightning on Saturday. The winner of their Semi-Final will qualify for the Grand Final.
The Lightning will present a tough challenge for the Falcons after they recorded a dominant 75-45 win against the Monash University Storm.
With third spot on the Championship ladder already secured, the Boroondara Express rotated their squad on Wednesday night, going down to the Geelong Cougars by 29-goals.
Ruby Horton was the standout player, shooting 55 from 60 to lead the Cougars to a big win.
The Blaze round out the top four who will contest finals, after they recorded a 58-44 victory against the ACU Sovereigns.
In the remaining Round 18 Championship fixture, the Wilson Storage Southern Saints finished their season on a high, defeating the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 67-42.
In Division One, Rebecca Colwell’s 35-goal haul helped the Blaze secure the Minor Premiership after defeating the Sovereigns by 21.
They finished the regular season four points ahead of the Falcons after they ended the Waves’ finals hopes with a narrow two-goal victory.
Boroondara secured third place with a 60-54 win against Geelong.
The Blaze and Boroondara will now meet again next Wednesday night to contest the second Semi-Final.
In the remaining two matches of Round 18, the Storm recorded a six-goal victory against the lightning, and the Saints defeated the Ariels 53-43.
The Geelong Cougars capped off their record-breaking 2016 campaign, ending the season with 17 wins and a draw after defeating the Express 55-35.
They finished top of the table, two games clear of the Blaze, with the Falcons and Sovereigns rounding out the top four.
The Championship Semi-Finals will commence on Saturday 6 August from 4.30pm at the SNHC. The Division One and 19 Under Semi-Finals will follow on Wednesday 10 August from 7pm at the SNHC.
City West Falcons 68 def 51 Peninsula Waves
Geelong Cougars 72 def 43 Boroondara Express
DC North East Blaze 58 def 44 ACU Sovereigns
Melbourne University Lightning 75 def 45 Monash University Storm
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 42 def by 67 Wilson Storage Southern Saints
DC North East Blaze 60 def 39 ACU Sovereigns
Melbourne University Lightning 41 def by 47 Monash University Storm
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 43 def by 53 Wilson Storage Southern Saints
Peninsula Waves 46 def by 48 City West Falcons
Geelong Cougars 54 def by 60 Boroondara Express
Melbourne University Lightning 55 def 33 Monash University Storm
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 39 def by 47 Wilson Storage Southern Saints
Peninsula Waves 32 def by 66 City West Falcons
Geelong Cougars 55 def 35 Boroondara Express
DC North East Blaze 58 def 46 ACU Sovereigns
For the latest VNL news, results and statistics visit vnl.com.au
Photo credit: Grant Treeby | Treeby Images