VNL Wrap – Round 7

05/03/2014 VNL 2014 Photo: Grant Treeby


VU Western Lightning cracked the 60-goal barrier and goal shooter Kate Thompson had 45 of them as Lightning beat Fed Uni Ballarat Pride to end a two-match losing streak in the Victorian Netball League’s Championship division.

Thompson netted 45 of her 59 attempts, but it was the other Thompson, goal defence Brooke, who snapped up the three votes and helped her team ease to a 61-42 win.

Pride were again their own worst enemy, having matched Lightning in the first and third quarters but making errors at crucial times.

“Frustrating turnovers cost confidence and despite the hard work and clever play at times, costly mistakes gave the accurate VU goalers more opportunities,” the club said in its post-match assessment.

Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels are back in the mix for a top four spot after beating third-placed Peninsula Waves and posting a second win in a row.

Ariels jumped to a six-goal lead late in the first quarter but saw their lead swallowed up for a 22-22 scoreline at half-time.

But a 15-8 turnaround in the third quarter swung the match back in their favour, with emerging goal attack Gabrielle Sinclair (22 from 28) again impressing.

Boroondara Genesis rebounded from last week’s loss to City West Falcons with a comfortable 50-34 win against Geelong Cougars, who have now lost four on the trot after a promising start to the season.

Genesis had the game firmly in hand at quarter-time, leading 16-6 before another 16-goal effort in the final quarter. Melbourne Vixens defender Joanna Weston was named best on court.

Southern Saints became City West Falcons’ lastest victims, with Falcons remaining undefeated after a 53-34 win.

No team has gotten within 17 goals of Falcons in the opening seven rounds of the season, and that run was unlikely to end with Kathleen Knott (23 from 27), Alice Teague-Neeld (20 from 21) and Julia Woolley (10 from 13) all on fire and defensive pair Emily Mannix and Chloe Watson again keeping things quiet down the other end.

DC North East Blaze’s season is back on the rails after they beat Monash University Storm for a second win in three games.

Blaze rung in the changes early in the second quarter after taking a 12-8 lead into the first break, with Stacey Gannon (11 from 14) brought on at goal attack and helping to build her team’s advantage to nine goals by the final change.

Monash did their best work in the final but could put only a one-goal dent in Blaze’s lead and went down 43-35 despite  defenders Helen Barclay and Johanna Curran being judged best on court.



The top of the table clash between Southern Saints and City West Falcons was every bit the classic encounter it promised to be in Division 1, with Falcons shooting a goal to tie the game with less than a second on the clock.

Falcons, having led at quarter-time but trailing 25-28 at three-quarter time, kicked into gear in the final quarter to bridge the gap and level the scores late in the game.

Saints forced and scored from what appeared to be a match-winning turnover and took a one-goal lead with less than a minute remaining, but an errant pass with less than 10 seconds left landed in the hands of a Falcons player.

The next pass found a running Darcy Saunders (17 goals from 22 attempts) at goal attack, and she laid-in the final goal to lock the scores at 35-35 as the final whistle sounded.

Monash University Storm narrowly avoided an upset against DC North East Blaze, with the top four side taking until the final quarter to pull clear.

In a low-scoring affair the teams were tied at 22-22 at three-quarter time but Storm goal shooter Tayla Shannon (15 from 17) saved her best for last and nailed a perfect eight from eight in the fourth quarter to lift her team to a 36-31 win. Blaze centre Casey Adamson was named best on court.

A deluge of Championship division players helped Yarra Valley Grammar eclipse Peninsula Waves for the club’s second win in a row.

With goaler Mikaela Vaughan (23 from 35) and centre court trio Katelyn Begley, Mathilda Wilmot and Lauren Close all dropping back to get court time, Ariels led from the outset and could afford to concede a few goals in the final quarter as they ran out 52-43 winners.

VU Western Lightning strung together its third win in four matches in a 51-36 victory against Fed Uni Ballarat Pride.

Pride book-ended the game with competitive first and fourth quarters but VU got hold of them in the middle of the match, racking up 17 goals in the third quarter as their attack end got on top, while Ballarat’s coaching staff were left to rue some poor decision-making but were pleased with the efforts of Madison David at goal defence and Jane Costello, who swung from wing defence to goal keeper.

Defending champions Boroondara Genesis put an end to their two-match losing streak with a 48-40 win over Geelong Cougars.

Genesis centre Krista Tomlinson posted her third best-on-court performance in seven games as her team sunk an even 24 goals in each half. Geelong was outscored by just a few goals in each quarter but that will be little consolation, as it again missed out on back to back wins.



Southern Saints leapt into the top four after a comprehensive come-from-behind win over City West Falcons in VNL’s 19 and Under division.

Falcons led by three goals at quarter-time and half-time but an explosive 15-8 run in the third quarter saw Saints take the lead before the final change.

Falcons threw all 12 players on court throughout the match in a bid to find a winning combination but Saints held their momentum throughout the final quarter to cruise to a 51-41 result.

Saints’ gun 14-year-old Kate Kelly-Oman played a composed full game at centre and goal shooting target Madeline McNab netted 35 of her 48 attempts.

Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels burst out of the blocks to set up a big win over Peninsula Waves.

Ariels were 8-0 in a flash to open the game before Waves scored, with goal shooter Samantha Gooden (36 from 42), racking up 16 goals in the first quarter alone.

Waves fought hard to find goaler Mandy Hanegraaf (34 from 39) and won the final quarter by three goals, but with Ariels goal defence Madeleine Toohey firing in defence and Georgia Gooding playing her best game for the club at goal attack and centre, weight of numbers saw them triumph 59-44.

VU Western Lightning needed the full four quarters to dispose of Fed Uni Ballarat Pride, who put together their best performance of the year but came up short in the final quarter.

Lightning led by just one goal at half-time and three-quarter time before launching a stunning final-quarter assault, scoring 18 goals to eight to capture a 50-39 win.

Pride’s coaches highlighted a better attack on the ball as the key to the team’s improvement, while goal shooter Katherine Dicker took the three votes for her 32 goals from 38 attempts.

A fourth-quarter surge was enough for Geelong Cougars to snap a two-game losing streak with a 49-37 victory against Boroondara Genesis.

Genesis led at the first break but Cougars kicked into gear to turn it around and lead 21-20 at half-time. It took a 16-8 final quarter and a three-vote performance from goal keeper Brooke Allan to ensure Geelong snared a much-needed result.

Monash University Storm faced a determined DC North East Blaze outfit and did enough to win their sixth consecutive game and remain on top of the 19 and Under ladder.

Storm kept Blaze to just four goals in the opening quarter to race to an eight-goal lead, but Blaze fought back in the third quarter to trail 30-24. Storm found the right combination in the final quarter to ease to a 41-32 win. Experienced Monash wing attack Melissa Perez was awarded the umpires’ three votes.

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