VNL: Week 1 Finals (19 & Under)

It’s another Grand Final for the Falcons, a week to exact revenge for the Cougars, a dream run continuing for the Sovereigns and season over for the Saints.

Last night at the State Netball and Hockey Centre saw the top four sides of the 19 & Under home-and-away season do battle.19U Wk1 Finals

 

Major Semi Final: City West Falcons 49 defeated Geelong Cougars 42

A battle of first and second that had gone twice previously the way of Geelong, looked likely to repeat itself early when the Cougars established a 6-2 lead.

It would be a complete reversal as a rampaging run with the Falcons, after taking a small lead at quarter time, at one stage lead by nine goals through the second quarter.

Geelong would not be denied as they slowly but surely ate back into the Falcons advantage, feasting on attacking third turnovers and errors.

The Cougars would return to within a goal of the Falcons with possession in hand, but the Falcons demonstrated just why they were on of the best sides through the year.

Outstanding defence through Geelong’s transition, saw the Cougar’s ball movement fall away at regular intervals as City West set about to make them pay.

The Falcons were able to extend on a four-goal three quarter time, as the Falcons continued nerveless, and efficient play to close out the match and advance straight to the Grand Final.

Amelia Brock was an outstanding figure in a very even Falcons team performance, shooting 35 goals from 39 attempts. Geelong midcourter Laura Cayzer and defender Brooke Allan toiled hard, but weight of scoring opportunity favoured the Falcons for their seven-goal win.

 

Minor Semi Final: ACU Sovereigns 46 defeated Wilson Storage Southern Saints 42

The ACU Sovereigns proved their Round 18 dress rehearsal was no fluke as they usurped the Wilson Storage Southern Saints by four goals.

The Saints would be left to lament poor shooting in the first three quarters. After missing six shots in the first ten minutes, the Saints rarely recovered from their slump.

The Sovereigns were not without error, after twice building a five-goal lead, before seeing dissipate to just two goals at half time.

It would again be the case in the third quarter; the Sovereigns seeming to have the upper hand before the Saints reeled the Ballarat side back in, the fourth-placed Sovereigns leading by just three goals at the final change.

Desperate to advance their debut season beyond the first week of finals, the Sovereigns again dug deep, limiting their errors and ensuring it was a goal-for-goal last quarter.

The previously ballistic style of game, tightened up as both sides were considerably more cautious in their ball movement. At the end of the day, it suited the Sovereigns who were able to play out the final minutes for a memorable win.

Goal attack Sascha McDonald was outstanding in the win as an attacking link, and backed up her performance when it came to scoring, shooting 26 goals from 28 attempts.

It ends the season for the Saints who had a disappointing end to year, winning just two of their last six matches.

The Sovereigns will meet the Cougars next Wednesday night in the Preliminary Final.