Victoria Netball League: Round 3 Wrap

Championship

IMG_1100 copyThe City West Falcons pushed their way to the top of the Championship division table, outmuscling Peninsula Waves by 14 goals.

The Waves matched the Falcons step for step in the first half, before a 15-6 third quarter broke the game open for last year’s Grand Finalists, helped by Falcons’ goaler Kathleen Knott’s 26 for 31 shooting.

At the other end of the ladder, the Sovereigns are still searching for their first win for 2015 falling to DC North East Blaze 50-36.

The Sovereigns matched the Blaze in the first quarter, however a 20-6 second term, led by goaler Elly Martin (21 for 25 shooting) in favour of the Blaze established a game-winning lead they held through the game’s end.

Both the Wilson Storage Southern Saints and Boroondara Express improved their season records to two wins, following their draw last week with wins over Melbourne University Lightning and Monash University Storm respectively.

The Storm looked lethargic as the Express punished Monash’s ball movement errors and never looking threatened in their 44-37 win.

The Saints had a tougher time overcoming a spirited Lightning side. With the margin never exceeding three goals for the first three quarters, it took a clean shooting effort Saints goalers Elizabeth Nicol (20 for 21) and Rahni Samason (28 for 32) and suffocating defensive effort to secure the 54-41 win.

A mammoth first quarter saw the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels cruise to a comfortable 56-46 victory over the Geelong Cougars.

19 goals in the first quarter proved to be the difference as the Cougars tried to claw their way back in the second quarter, but were no match as Stephanie Puopolo and Kelsey Browne’s assertiveness in the attacking third saw the Ariels home.

 

Division 1

Boroondara Express, City West Falcons and DC North East Blaze continued their undefeated start to 2015, accounting for their respective opponents.

It wasn’t an armchair ride for the Blaze who had the underdog Sovereigns take it right up to them with the margin never exceeding three goals.

A goal-for-goal final term saw the Blaze take the lead with 35 seconds to go before forcing a turnover, and then holding possession to wind down the clock and win 45-43.

It was smoother sailing for Boroondara who were clinical over Monash, dispatching them for a 58-30 win.

While Clare Pettyfor battled wilfully for the Storm, the Express punished the Storm’s slow ball movement down the court as all of Boroondara’s goalers enjoyed the regular supply.

The Falcons lent on the shooting nous of Jane Cook, as City West’s goaler took the responsibility to lead a 14-5 final quarter.

Never leading by more than three at any change, Cook’s 37 for 42 shooting proved just as decisive as her side’s final term charge to give the Falcons their third win in as many starts.

Ruby Horton (38 for 42 shooting) continues to show her worth at Division 1 level, guiding her Geelong Cougars to a 59-49 win over the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.

In a game not short on attack, it was the Cougars’ Hannah Kennedy and then Jessica Leader in the third quarter who orchestrated slick offense to ultimately see Geelong over the line.

A consistent four-quarter performance helped the Saints to a 42-29 win over the still-winless Lightning.

Lacking the firepower in attack, the Lightning failed to reach the 30-goal mark for a third straight round, while the Saints’ Georgina Cuthbertson was exceptional at goal attack as an attacking link, as well as finishing with 15 goals from 17 attempts.

 

19 & Under

City West Falcons and Geelong Cougars signalled their intent for 2015 with crushing wins over Peninsula Waves and the Ariels respectively.

Led by an energetic performance from Eleanor Leydin at wing attack, the Falcons pushed their lead above 20 midway through the second quarter. Two quarters of conceding just four goals all but sealed a comprehensive 49-21 victory.

The Cougars recovered from a slow to return to their bullish best, conceding just four goals after half time thanks to some great anticipation around the scoring circle from Geelong defenders Kelsey Ollis and Brooke Allan.

Hannah van Gemst enjoyed the spoils at the scoring end, netting 31 goals from 36 attempts to construct the 48-22 win over the Ariels.

The Saints also continued their unblemished start to the season overcoming the Lightning in their 49-37 win.

While Lightning were efficient under the net, missing just seven goals, Saints defenders Alice Ditchfield and Mardi Cunningham were superb in denying their supply.

Monash University Storm rallied from their loss on Sunday with a convincing 43-18 demolition of Boroondara Express.

In a low-scoring encounter for the first three quarters, the Express were left to lament their 40 per cent shooting efficiency with the game in the balance. The Storm would make them pay, with Hannah Flanders and Monique Tarrant ensuring a blowout win.

The Blaze and Sovereigns played out a highly entertaining match with the Blaze overcoming a quarter time deficit, to record a 33-29 win.

While Sovereigns were guilty of missing goals at crucial moments, Blaze goal shooter Ashleigh Saunders (18 for 21) ensured their opposition were kept at bay to grab their first win of 2015.