Victorian Netball League: Round 17 Wrap

Championship

Peninsula Waves claimed a tight win over Monash University Storm to win by three goals.

With the margin for the match never exceeding four goals, the Waves slowly but surely extended at every break and held their nerve for the close win.

The Wilson Storage Southern Saints leapfrogged DC North East Blaze into third place, winning 50-42.

In a dress rehearsal for the second semi-final in less than a fortnight away, the Blaze were left to a lament a 14-7 opening term, after outscoring the Saints in the second half.

Boorondara Express claimed a condensed 27-10 win over the ACU Sovereigns.

With circumstances of the previous 19 & Under game cutting well into the Championship game, both sides agreed to two 15-minute halves, which saw the Express triumph.

The City West Falcons were almost on the wrong end of a massive upset, before eventually prevailing over Geelong Cougars 54-51.

With Falcons pair Steph Tyrell and Kath Knott shooting below their lofty standards, the Cougars stayed with the minor premiers-to-be bringing the margin to within one with three minutes to go before the Falcons showed their year-long class to hold on.

Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels ended Melbourne University Lightning’s season with a shock 55-53 win.

Separated by four spots on the ladder and the fifth-placed Lightning needing a win keep in touch with the final four, the Ariels pushed their advantage in the final few minutes to hold on for one of their best wins of the year.

 

Division 1

The Storm continued their excellent end-of-season form to notch their fifth win on the trot, defeating the Waves 43-34.

In a scrap of a match, the Storm took control in the third term off the back of efforts from Ebony Roberts and Bridget Aughton to stamp a 13-6 third quarter and established a game-winning 10-goal lead at three quarter time to assure the win.

The Saints stole victory from the jaws of the second draw of the Division 1 season, pinching a dramatic 43-42 win.

The Saints had the tiniest of advantages heading into the final minute of play before the Blaze twice levelled the scores, including an eqauliser with seven seconds to play. Some adventurous play between the Saints’ Sara Febbo and Gerogina Cuthbertson, saw Cuthbertson shoot the ball from mid-range with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to grab the narrowest of wins.

The Express confirmed they will have the double chance during finals time with an important 58-41 win over the Sovereigns.

Well serviced across the board offensively, the Express pulled away from the match with a 17-8 third quarter and a 31-16 advantage across the middle two quarters to set up the win.

The Falcons showed exactly why they are the best team in the competition with a ruthless 53-36 win over the Cougars.

Leading by just one at three quarter time, whatever rocket was delivered to the Falcons clearly worked as the minor premiers piled on 21-goals-to-5 in the final term for the relieving victory.

A second half turnaround saw the Lightning pip the Ariels 41-39.

Determined not to become the victim of the Ariels’ second win of the season, a 17-9 third quarter run overturned a six-goal half time deficit. Once in front, the Lightning never looked back staving off several challenges to run out two-goal winners.

 

19 & Under

The Storm survived an almighty scare from the Waves to eventually prevail 50-49.

Leading by as much as seven through the final quarter off the back of an efficient 21 goals from 22 from Alexandra Kilpatrick, the Storm lost their way as the Waves piled on the next seven goals before the Storm grabbed a game-winner and held on for the final 15 seconds.

The Saints confirmed a third-place finish for the VNL home-and-away season with an entertaining 41-39 win over the Blaze.

The Saints had the lead at quarter time, but it wouldn’t be until around four minutes left in the final term that we would see it again after overturning a five-goal deficit.

The Sovereigns have secured a maiden finals berth in their debut year after being awarded a 48-42 win over the Express despite the match being abandoned with 3 minutes left to play in the final term following a severe injury to Sovereigns wing defender Bridget Murray.

Murray crashed heavily following a collision with an Express teammate, and was later stablilised by ambulance crew after fears of a lower spinal injury. Reports have come through today that Murray is a stable condition and clear of any critical damage.

The Cougars have returned to the top of the ladder for the first time since Round 8 and have proven themselves to be the nemesis of the Falcons with a gutsy 51-45 win.

With clinical shooting on display from both sides, Geelong jumped out to a seven-goal lead, but were back to level-pegging at the final change before again pushing a head for the five-goal victory. Despite the result, the race for the minor premiership is still up for grabs in Round 18.

The Lightning surprised the Ariels with a gritty, consistent 49-47 win.

Leading by four at every change up until three quarter time, the Ariels challenged the Lightning on mulitiple occasions through the last 15 minutes, but the Lightning held firm for their fifth win of the season.