Victorian Netball League: Round 5 Wrap

Championship

 The City West Falcons conVNLR5wrapsolidated top spot and were at their devastating best on Saturday night defeating the ACU Sovereigns 67-29.

Falcons goalers Kath Knott (42 from 54) and Steph Tyrell (20 from 29) put up 83 shots between, capitalising on slick offense and injury to regular Sovereigns goal defence Sanonu Robertson in the second quarter.

Peninsula Waves broke a three-game drought to grab their second win of the season over Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 39-35.

The Waves rebounded strongly from a five goal deficit at quarter time to level things up at half time, before senior players Stephanie Puopolo (18 from 24), Kelsey Browne and Shannon Eagland proved the cool heads for the eventual four-goal victory.

The Boroondara Express kept their undefeated record intact, staving off a fighting DC North East Blaze outfit to win 50-38.

The fourth-placed Blaze were looking to cause an early-season upset, leading by a goal at quarter time. Yet they were punished for inconsistent late patches each of the last three quarters as the Express slowly but surely pushed their advantage toward a double-figure margin.

The Wilson Storage Southern Saints got themselves back onto the winners list in front of their home support with a strong 45-35 win.

The Saints jumped out to an early lead and were always the more settled of the two sides, as Rahni Samason continued her great form under the net with 26-33 attempts.

The Geelong Cougars finally broke the ice with their first win of 2015, clinching a nailbitting 45-44 win over Melbourne University Lightning.

The higher-placed Lightning looked to have control of the match leading by as much as seven goals mid-way through the second term, before the Cougars, spurred on by home support, orchestrated a nine-goal turnaround in a 20-minute period ending at three quarter time.

Despite missing nine attempts in the final, the Cougars would hold on nervously to their two-goal lead from the final change to register a single-goal win.

Division 1

The Falcons kept their undefeated season on track with a comprehensive 39-60 win over the Sovereigns.

Shooting with a team efficiency of 96 per cent, goalers Jane Cook (38 from 41), Mandy Hanegraaf (11 from 11) and Tahnysha Salanoa (11 from 11) stretched the Sovereigns defence all night in a brutal display of offense.

A second-half jump-start saw the Waves re-enter the top four with a 44-30 win over the Ariels.

After an error-riddled first quarter, the Ariels took a small advantage over the Waves in the early stages, before the home side rallied with 13-8 third quarter to steer themselves to a 14-goal win.

The Express coordinated an entertaining comeback to pip the Blaze at the final, and inflict the Blaze’s first loss of the year, to post to win 36-35.

With both sides wasting chances consistently at the scoring ends, it took for the Express until the last three minutes to final take the lead for the first and most crucial time in the match, to join the Falcons as the only other undefeated team.

The Saints got back on the winners list, albeit surviving a scare to beat the Storm, 44-41.

The Storm looked in control of the mach for much of the first half, but goal attacks Georgina Cuthbertson (4 from 4) and Tess Upstill (3 from 3) were highly effective when on-court, guiding the Saints past the Storm’s slight lead to take a three-goal win of their own.

The Cougars cruised to their third win on the trot recording a 44-31 win over the Lightning.

With Ruby Horton (36 from 46) again a focal point for the Cougars, the Lightning never seriously threatened the home side, who led at every change to keep themselves just eight per cent outside of the top four.

 

19 & Under

The Falcons ensured all three of their sides consolidated top spot after five rounds, with 19s girls defeating the Sovereigns 46-36.

In a physical four-quarter match, the Sovereigns took the game to the ladder leaders drawing to within four goals in the final quarter, before Falcons flexed their muscle to close out a 10-goal win.

The Ariels survived a scare from the Waves to win their second game in succession, winning 42-36.

The visitors led by as much as seven goals before the Waves tied the game up at 30-all at the final change. Introduced in the second quarter, Ariels goaler Danielle Phillips (25 from 33) proved the difference.

The Blaze won their third game in succession and kept the Express winless in 2015, propelling to a 43-22 win.

A 14-4 first quarter signified Blaze’s ability to suffocate the Express into inaccuracy, as Ashleigh Saunders (24 from 28) continued to help pushing out the margin to an eventual 21-goal win.

The Cougars kept their own undefeated season in check and kept the Lightning’s winless, as Geelong won through 44-34.

Continuing their form of efficient offense, the Cougars were rarely threatened by the bottom-placed Lightning, led by Hannah van Gemst (25 from 29) and Mary Waldon (14 from 17).

The Storm saw off a valiant challenge from the Saints to maintain their place in the top four, winning 35-32.

The visitors seemed to have control until the Saints piled on 10 of the last 12 goals in the third term to take a one-goal lead at three quarter time.

However, the Saints couldn’t take their third quarter form into the final term as the Storm steadied towards their third successive win.