Boroondara Express have shocked the competition to become premiers of the Victorian Netball League Championship competition, with a 50-44 win over City West Falcons.
Without reliable goal attack Sarah Main, the Express were led by a match MVP performance from Saraha Yule to claim the upset win.
After the Express raced to a 7-2 lead, the Falcons clawed their way back to level scores at 12-all at quarter time.
Much like the first, a few possession breaks saw the Express get the jump in the form of a three-goal buffer, before the Falcons got back the scores back on even keel at 18-all midway through the second quarter.
Clare Moylan would however return to make a big stop to see City clasp the lead for the first time in the match, and take a 25-22 advantage into half time.
Express coach Robynn Pym’s other swap bringing Sarah Yule into the game for Ramayer Gourley also paid off as the Express responded to another Falcons’ charge to take a small lead before the Falcons squared it at 36-all at three quarter time.
After a goal-for-goal first few minutes of the last, it was the Express who turned a three-minute burst of brilliance to take 43-38 and were never headed to the final whistle.
Coach Robynn Pym said it was a suitable end to a fairytale finish.
“We set ourselves at the beginning of the season to go on a journey and visualise what that journey would look like at the end,” Pym said.
“The best thing was just seeing the bench players come on and play their role. They’ve done it all season so it’s no surprise to see them do it tonight.
“It’s such a young group so there’s a lot excitement about what this group can achieve.
“We’re going to really cherish this one.”
Official Match Result: Boroondara Express 50 defeated City West Falcons 44
Express Shooting Statistics
Emma Ryde 40/46 (87%)
Sarah Yule 9/12 (75%)
Ramayer Gourley 1/3 (33%)
Falcons Shooting Statistics
Kath Knott 28/33 (85%)
Steph Tyrell 16/24 (67%)
Match MVP: Sarah Yule (Express)
The City West Falcons exacted the ultimate revenge defeating the Wilson Storage Southern Saints at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Saturday night.
In a Grand Final rematch of the last season, the Falcons were able to comfortably atone for last season’s shock loss, led by an MVP performance from Jane Cook.
The Saints were brave early, with neither side being able to build a lead until a last-second goal from the Saints’ Chloe Curran gifted the Saints a one-goal lead at quarter time.
It would be again neck and neck out of the first change, before the Falcons found their groove, landing nine of the next 13 goals.
Led by goaling giant and flawless shooter Jane Cook, despite the best efforts Danielle Wilson, the minor premiers surge gave them a 22-17 lead at half time. But there was more to come in the second half.
With mid courters Toni Lind and Steph O’Nial’s assuredness, the Falcons’ offence continued to click into gear while their defence held firm, orchestrating a 14-goal-to-five third quarter and 14-goal lead at three quarter time.
Even with the Falcons coaching staff afforded the luxury to make changes through the final term, it wouldn’t deter the scoreboard advantage; the Falcons running out 11–goal winners.
Post-match, premiership coach Jacinta Todd – who played in last year’s losing Grand Final – said the win was the icing on the cake following last year’s disappointment.
“It definitely is the perfect end to an almost perfect season,” Todd said.
“We so nearly went through the home-and-away season undefeated, but they worked so hard for this.
“Saints were with us early, but I think our girls just needed to believe and then to go and execute. We did make a few changes through the mid-court area, which seemed to work for us.
“To come here and play Saints again, after last year, it certainly is fitting that we went out with a bang and came away with a win.”
Official Match Result: City West Falcons 48 defeated Wilson Storage Southern Saints 37
Falcons Shooting Statistics
Jane Cook 38/38 (100%)
Tahnysha Salanoa 6/6 (100%)
Mandy Hanegraaf 4/7 (58%)
Saints Shooting Statistics
Chloe Curran 28/32 (88%)
Georgina Cuthbertson 7/10 (70%)
Tess Upstill 2/3 (67%)
Grand Final Match MVP: Jane Cook (Falcons)
19 & Under
The City West Falcons have been crowned the 19 & Under Victorian Netball League Champions after defeating the Geelong Cougars 50-45 at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Saturday night.
Led by match MVP Soli Ropati, the Falcons overcame an early start and good on the ultimate redemption from last season’s Grand Final heartbreak.
Geelong who would settle first as Cougars’ star shooting combination Hannah Van Gemst and Mary Waldron calmly built towards a 13-9 quarter time lead.
After piling on seven of the first eight goals of the quarter, the Falcons went on a blitzing eight-minute 8-0 run drawing the scores level. Geelong’s Kelsey Ollis called a time out, but it wouldn’t halt the Falcons, who limited their errors to forge forward and take a 23-21 half time lead.
The Cougars would claw the scores back to 36-35 in the Falcons’ favour at the final change, heading into a tense final term.
After both sides traded goals early, it would be the characteristic sure-headedness of Falcons goaler, Amelia Brock who began to build the Falcons back to a five-goal lead.
The Cougars final push to get the margin back to two goals wouldn’t be enough; the Falcons claiming a brave win after losing both home-and-away matches to the Cougars through the season.
Falcons coach Darren Abella said the premiership was a great reward for the season his team had.
“The girls really deserved it, they worked really hard all season and also tonight,” Abella said.
“We’d lost two games against them but won the semi final, so it was a 50-50 feeling coming into tonight.
“We didn’t ever want to get to nervous or panic. We kept the same line up and tried to build momentum and slowly fought our way back into the game.”
Official Match Result: City West Falcons 50 defeated Geelong Cougars 45
Falcons Shooting Statistics
Amelia Brock 37/48 (78%)
Bridget O’Halloran 13/22 (60%)
Cougars Shooting Statistics
Hannah Van Gemst 25/30 (84%)
Mary Waldron 20/22 (91%)
Match MVP: Soli Ropati (Falcons)