The Bupa Victorian Netball League clubs set in for a big week with two rounds taking place in just five days. Round six commenced on Wednesday 30 May. Despite the woeful weather, many spectators arrived to support their club as they engaged in tough competition at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.
The Hawks Netball Club continued their success walking away from the Bupa VNL round victorious. Not only did the club achieve three from three across all grades, the Championship team were able to accomplish what previous clubs could not by prevailing over the Melbourne University Lightning. On the Championship ladder, the Lightning were undefeated sitting securely in first place. This was undeniably daunting to the Hawks as they stepped on to the court. Hawks’ star goal shooter, Kim Commane, says that Lightning are known for having a “quality defensive line up”, but the Hawks remained unphased and patient when delivering the ball into the goal circle. The Hawks’ stuck to their game plan, after trailing by a goal at half time, came home strong with a 14 goal win. The Hawks’ attackers must be commended for their performance against top Lightning players, including goal keeper Amy Wirth. The Hawks’ attackers Kim Commane, Nat Billings and Lil O’Sullivan received all the MVP votes for the game.
After round six, Hawks Netball, Geelong Cougars and Melbourne University Lightning sit in first, second and third place respectively on the Championship ladder with five wins and one loss each.
The Geelong Cougars also had a successful night with three from three wins against the Ariels. They have also proven their consistency as a club; as the only Bupa VNL club to cement their place in the top three positions on the ladder in the Championship, Division One and 19/Under grades. Further to this, Cougars have demonstrated their strength by overcoming the Ariels, a strong team in their own right, by over 15 goals in each grade. The Cougars have faced three of the top four teams, with the exception of Hawks Netball, and have thus set themselves in a commanding position early in the season.
DC North East Blaze are another club that managed three wins on Wednesday night. Wilson Storage Southern Saints put up a solid fight, with staying within five goals of their North East competitors in the first half of each game. However, Blaze executed the game plan they are known for and stepped up the intensity to a level the Southern Saints were unable to match. While unsuccessful this round, their experience against Blaze is good practice for the level of ferocity the Southern Saints will need as they approach their match against the Geelong Cougars during round seven on Sunday.
The 19/Under Boroondara Express team are establishing themselves as a premiership favourite with their recent performances. The team completed round six with another win under their belt after defeating Peninsula Waves by 15 goals. Express shooter Bella Hodgson was once again a stand out player with a 93% shooting accuracy. Waves’ took the bragging rights in the other divisions. In Division One, Waves’ talent Bridgette Barry-Murphy exhibited her experience on court and propelled her team to their second win of the season and in the Championship Division, Waves’ maintained their lead despite a strong second quarter by Express winning by five goals. Adrienne Harris had an impressive game in defence and was unsurprisingly voted as the most valuable player by the umpires.
The Selkirk Sovereigns and City West Falcons engaged in a hot contest across the three grades. Round six began with the Sovereigns taking out a three goal win against the Falcons in Division One. The game was a nail biter for spectators, with both teams evenly matched before the Sovereigns eventually prevailed. The Falcons undertook their revenge in the Championship grade, dominating over their Ballarat opponents and taking out the game with a 46 goal win. Uneeq Palavi, Falcons’ goal shooter, was voted as the most valuable player by the umpires, with 92% shooting accuracy. The Falcons’ 19/Under team also secured a win moving them in fourth position on the ladder.
Round seven of the Bupa VNL takes place this Sunday 3 June, from 12:30pm at the State Netball & Hockey Centre in Parkville.