Victorian Netball League: Round 13 Wrap

Championship

The Peninsula Waves kept themselves in touch with the top four with a crucial 53-42 win over the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.

The mid-table clash lived up to expectation with both teams exchanging the lead through the first half.

Still a tight affair at three quarter time, the extra man power of the Waves proved crucial against an Ariels side adapting to life without star wing attack and now permanent replacement player for the Melbourne Vixens, Kelsey Browne.

Boroondara Express held off an almighty comeback from the Geelong Cougars to record a 55-52 win.

In a free-flowing attacking match, Boroondara’s seven-goal lead looked safe at the final change, before the Cougars rallied hard but left it too little to late to give the Express their third straight win.

DC North East Blaze pulled a rabbit out of a hat to pinch a one-goal victory from Melbourne University Lightning, 41-40.

In one of the matches of the season, the Blaze looked dead and gone scoring just five goals in the opening quarter. The margin blew to as much as 12 early in the third quarter, before the Blaze piled on 27 of the next 40 goals to pinch a memorable win.

The City West Falcons showed no signs of post-bye lethargy with a competition-high 47-goal win over the ACU Sovereigns.

Fresh off celebrating a breakthrough win last week, the Sovereigns were simply no match for a white-hot Falcons side. Led by Kath Knott’s 40 goals from 49 attempts and ‘supported’ by Steph Tyrell’s 32 goals from 40, City West pieced together two 22-goal quarters and put up 94 shots in an emphatic display.

The Wilson Storage Southern Saints pulled out all stops to fight off an efficient Monash University Storm, prevailing 45-50.

In a match full of clinical shooting highlighted by Storm’s Janelle Lawso (28 from 33) and the Saints’ Elizabeth Nicol (31 from 32), it was the latter’s ability to put more shots up in a game where the margin never exceded five goals that saw the Saints secure the win.

 

Division 1

The Waves rode the momentum of a dominant first quarter to run out comfortable winners over the Ariels, 52-36.

Only conversion cruelled the Waves of a bigger margin, putting up 89 shots in total. But a 14-3 first term put the game well beyond doubt by quarter time to perch themselves inside the top four.

The Express got themselves into the all-important second spot on the ladder with a convincing 58-40 win over the Cougars.

Led by Express goal Ramayer Gourlay (40 from 45), the Express burst out of the blocks with a 19-7 opening quarter and were never headed from the remainder of the match to post a crucial victory.

The Lightning notched their second straight win with a brave 38-27 victory over the Blaze.

At a disadvantage to the Lightning in terms of manpower, the Lightning were led at both ends of the court by Monika Domivski (31 from 44) and defender Melissa Laird, allowing no fluency to the Blaze’s offensive game.

It continues to be lucky 13 for the Falcons, who kept their undefeated record unblemished with a powering 60-22 win over the Sovereigns.

Defender Stephanie O’Nial was crucial in bringing the ball down the court from Sovereigns turnovers, while interchanging shooters Tahnysha Salanoa (32 from 39) and Mandy Hanegraaf (28 from 37) finished off the good work in a complete team performance.

The Storm kept their slim finals chances alive with a workman-like 47-44 win over the Saints.

Storm shooter Monique Lenehan-Moustafa (33 from 40) was integral to the win, particularly in the second quarter, as the Storm repelled several Saints charges to hold on for the tight win.

 

19 & Under

The Waves created their own mini-upset and broke a four-game losing streak in the meantime with an impressive 49-38 win over the Ariels.

Unfazed by the Ariels’ position of fifth on the ladder, the eighth-placed Waves led by 35 goals from 41 attempts for Gabrielle Dwyer piled on 18-6 in a runaway final term after trailing by a solitary goal at the final change.

The Cougars consistenly extended at every change to notch their fourth straight win with a sublime 49-29 win over the Express.

Hannah van Gemst’s efficient 28 goals from 30 attempts, set the tone for the tone for the accurate Cougars, who made the Express pay full price for any errors. The win keeping them level with the top-placed Falcons and away from the third-placed Saints.

DC North East Blaze kept their top four window open with a grinding 42-32 win over the Lightning.

In a scrap of a game, the Blaze opened up small buffers in the first and third quarters and took their chances when they needed to, to hold on for the win.

The Falcons staved off an almighty fightback from the Sovereigns to claiming a nail-biting 45-44 win

The Falcons’ Amelia Brock (19 from 19) proved the difference as the top side struggled to find any fluency in their attacking game. Time proved the enemy for the Sovereigns who, off the back of Abbey Ryan (23 from 25) and Sacha McDonald (21 from 26) piled on a 14-8 final quarter after trailing by seven at the final change.

The Saints kept up their pursuit of a top two finish with an exemplary 48-25 win over the Storm.

The Saints led from start to finish and completely shut down any of the Storm’s combinations, with Saints’ defence leading the way.