GEELONG Cougars caused the upset of the Victorian Netball League season so far and proved they’re no longer easybeats by downing DC North East Blaze in the Championship division.
Cougars, who won just one game last season, now have a win and a two-goal loss under new coach Gerard Murphy and led at every change against Blaze, racking up 28 goals to 19 in the second half as they ran away with a 48-35 victory.
Kaitlyn Amor was in everything at wing attack for Geelong, while Kim Martin (32 goals from 40 attempts) proved a sticking point for Blaze.
A couple of Vixens were handy additions for Boroondara Genesis as they easily accounted for Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.
Melbourne Vixen Erin Hoare (20 from 23) backed up from a big weekend of ANZ Championship preseason action, while defender Joanna Weston did the same and kept Ariels’ goalers quiet.
The elite duo were named best on court as Genesis opened up a 13-7 lead in the first quarter and kept on going, leading 40-20 at the three-quarter time before Ariels found something in the final 15 minutes and kept the final margin to 15 goals – 51-36.
Southern Saints came unstuck against VU Western Lightning, despite hanging in for the full four quarters against last year’s preliminary finalists.
Lightning’s defensive output won out in a 34-31 arm wrestle, with Kate Thompson’s 23 goals from 31 attempts at goal shooter and goal attack enough to see her team over the line.
You couldn’t fault City West Falcons’ consistency in their big 61-26 win over Fed Uni Ballarat Pride.
Falcons scored 14, 14, 18 and 15 goals respectively in each quarter as Pride hung stayed with the premiers early before fading.
City West wing attack Maggie Lind delivered plenty of supply to goalers Alice Teague-Neeld (35 from 38) and Julia Knott (26 from 30), while Clare Moylan also caught the umpires’ eyes in MVP voting.
Peninsula Waves and Monash University Storm flipped their round one fortunes, with Waves posting a 39-28 win against a misfiring Storm attack end.
Storm goalers Stacey Northey, Shae Gee and Tayla Shannon managed a collective 28 goals from 50 attempts as Peninsula put its season on track after a disappointing first round.
***NOTE: Due to a scoring input error, last week’s report listed the Southern Saints-Geelong Cougars result as 45-27. The correct result was 42-40.
BOROONDARA Genesis produced an emphatic result in their grand final rematch against Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.
Genesis underlined their premiership favouritism by withstanding an early Ariels burst and grabbing a 15-11 quartertime advantage before sprinting away to win 52-29.
Defenders Madeline Balson and Tamara Luke combined to restrict their opposition to less than 30 goals for the second week in a row as the defending champions consolidated their position atop the Division 1 table.
After their draw to open the 2014 season, City West Falcons found their best form in round two to down Fed Uni Ballarat Pride 57-30.
Falcons’ three goalers shared the spoils between them, with Andrea Tai (13 from 18), Georgia Berry (25 from 29) and Darcy Saunders (19 from 29) all contributing to the big win, while centre Toni Lind and goal defence Carly Post were both prominent.
VU Western Lightning tried to find a combination that worked but couldn’t make inroads against an experienced Southern Saints squad.
Saints shooter Elizabeth Nicol (33 from 36) was in impirious form, while wing defence Aila Pera was named best on court as they turned a seven-goal quartertime lead into a 44-32 win that put them in second place on the ladder.
A goal circle full of state representatives wasn’t enough for Monash University Storm to take the points against Peninsula Waves.
Victorian 19 and Under player Ashlee Porter (17 from 32) and 21 and Under member Ramayer Gourley (13 from 17) couldn’t keep pace with Waves wing attack Sara Duncan’s supply to goal shooter Megan Rosser (33 from 39) as Waves continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 42-32 win.
Rain intervened before DC North East Blaze’s game against Geelong Cougars, with the match abandoned due to water on the court and postponed until March 23.
19 AND UNDER
YOU want draws? We’ve got draws.
Two of them, in fact, in the VNL 19 and Under division, starting with Southern Saints’ late charge to share the points with VU Western Lightning.
After leading for most of the game and by as much as seven goals at halftime, Lightning lost their way in the final quarter, giving up 11 goals to six as Saints stormed home to tie the scores at 35-35.
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels gave up a big final-quarter lead for the second week in a row when Boroondara Genesis came from six goals down to pinch a 40-40 tie.
After a tight opening 30 minutes, Ariels got on top when they introduced Rachel Smart (14 from 18) at goal shooter, moved Samantha Gooden (20 from 29) to goal attack and took a six-goal lead into three-quarter time.
But an inspired final quarter from Genesis defenders Teagan Brereton and Georgia Vines saw them grab a clutch of crucial intercepts that helped them draw level with less than a minute remaining.
Gooden had a long-range penalty shot from the circle edge after the final whistle but was unable to convert.
The City West Falcons train started gathering steam in a big way in round two, with the defending champions dealing Fed Uni Ballarat Pride a heavy 57-21 loss.
Missing last week’s starting goal shooter Kayla Mallett, Falcons didn’t blink, installing Amelia Brock (43 from 53) under the post and applying a defensive squeeze that limited Pride’s shooters to just 21 goals from 41 attempts.
Victoria Honner again impressed in defence for Falcons.
Monash University Storm rebounded from a disappointing one-goal loss in round one to open their win account with a comprehensive 42-22 defeat of Peninsula Waves.
A horror opening quarter for Waves saw them score just one goal, while Storm drained 15 and then extended their lead in every quarter off the back of 32 from 41 shooting from Natalie Billings.
Mother Nature won the battle against Geelong Cougars and DC North East Blaze, with water on the court forcing their match to be postponed until March 12.