Bupa VNL premiers decided

The 2018 Bupa Victorian Netball League season has come to an end with three thrilling grand finals at the State Netball & Hockey Centre on Sunday.

A crowd of over 600 spectators entered the venue to watch Hawks Netball, Boroondara Express and City West Falcons claim premierships in their divisions.

Division 1- Geelong Cougars 45 def by Hawks Netball 46

Hawks Netball has claimed a thrilling victory over the Geelong Cougars in the Division 1 grand final.

After a slow start in the first quarter, the Hawks managed to take a five-goal lead at the first break which set them up for the game.

Despite Geelong’s best efforts, the Hawks managed to maintain the lead, extending the margin to 10 goals in the third quarter.

Momentum shifted when the Cougars made changes to their line-up, allowing them to claw back to within 7 goals.

A three-quarter time rev-up from the coaches is just what the Cougars needed, and with that they managed an almighty comeback.

Halfway through the final quarter, the Cougars found themselves levelled with the Hawks, with the premiership within reach.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, a composed Hawks outfit proved too good, securing the win with just seconds to go.

MVP: Kate Fletcher (Hawks)

19/U – Boroondara Express 60 def DC North East Blaze 58

Boroondara Express have come out premiers after an intense battle against DC North East Blaze in the 19/U grand final.

Almost a carbon copy of their previous encounter, nothing separated the two teams throughout the match, with a seven-goal margin the biggest lead the Express could manage.

With a few changes to Blaze’s line up, they were able to claw their way back, falling just short to Express.

Express captain Taylah Brown admitted the game could’ve gone either way.

“We came into this game knowing it was going to be tough, knowing how strong Blaze have been all year,” said Brown.

“It wasn’t until the final seven seconds that I actually was confident we were going to win.”

Brown credited her team’s resilience to get to the grand final.

“I’m just so proud of the way we’ve managed this season.

“There have been ups and downs and the bond we share in this group is what got us to the final and now a premiership!”

MVP: Abbey Ellis (DC North East Blaze)

Championship – Geelong Cougars 48 def by City West Falcons 56

The crowd was electric in the Championship grand final, where the City West Falcons defeated the Geelong Cougars in the final game of the day.

While the first quarter was even, with both teams going goal for goal, an exciting second term set the Falcons up for premiership glory.

Cougars managed to find themselves three goals up in that second quarter, until the Falcons’ defensive force helped the eventual premiers to a seven-goal turnaround which had the crowd up on their feet.

The Falcons dominated the second half, eventually getting out to an eight-goal lead in the final quarter, with the Cougars unable to catch a break.

Integral to the Falcons’ success, and named the match MVP, Zoe Davies credited her team for their performance.

“I think the team effort was amazing. For such a young team to put our heads down and keep fighting throughout the whole match really showed how much we can give,” said Davies.

“I have so much confidence with Jacqui (Newton) in the ring beside me, then you have Soli driving through that midcourt which really helps us get out of the danger zone.

“It was a full team effort and I couldn’t be more proud.”

MVP: Zoe Davies (City West Falcons)