Round 7 of MLeague this week marked the half point for the 2019 rounds. With this saw undefeated teams fall and teams without a win change their fate.
In Men’s Premier, Sirens took a much deserved win over the division’s front runners Geelong Cougars. Later in the evening, NNE Vipers from Mixed Premier finally got their first win on the board in a tight victory against St Therese.
Heading into the back end of the season, the competition is bound to fire up. Suss out your finals picks with our Round 7 match report!
For the first time all season, Geelong Cougars experienced defeat as Sirens came out with intensity to disrupt their near perfect season at the half way point.
It was consistency that was the downfall of Cougars, who couldn’t quite deliver a full 60 minutes of intense play.
A tight first half saw the two formidable forces bring all their tricks and plays to the court. A match up of Luke Rawlings and Josh Smith was intense to watch, the pair highlighting their strengths in the circle. Rawling and Punshon’s drives for intercepts were direct and their movement alongside Josh Burns and Jake Nooonan succinct. Their midcourt work by Matt Bloomeley transitioned the ball well as he directed many playsinto goals.
Sirens leading by two goals at the beginning of the second half, they played a commanding third quarter. Brodie Roberts from Sirens dodged his way in and out of the circle to free himself, making it easier for his team to feed. Precision goaling executed by Sirens ultimatly saw them upset the Men’s Premier hot shots by a mere three goals.
This shake up of Round 7 sees Siren equal with Geelong Cougars on the competition ladder in equal first.
An emphatic win for St Therese means third place on the ladder remains theirs for another week.
St Therese were able to take control of the game early against the Ariels, who are still yet to win a game this season. Acting as a formidable force, St Therese more than doubled Ariels’ first quarter score with 31 goals.
Tristan Comans did well in defence for St Therese, restricting Ariels’ ability to enter the goal circle with ease. Nonetheless, Ariels were unafraid to go for the long bomb into their goalers, working on occasion. St Therese also continued to provide a wealth of support and back up for the attacks when switching the ball from defence to attack.
St Therese executed a strong match to seize a winning margin of 31 goals.
In one of Blackhawks’ most cohesive games of the season, they took a promising lead early in the match showing determination and persistence.
Shooting 38 goals in the first half, Blackhawks’ midcourt moved at lightning speed and their skillful dodges assisted them to get in front for the pass every time. This allowed them to hit the circle edge and pass swiftly into the goals, timing the release of their passes well. Furthermore, their strategic plays to swing the ball around on the circle allowed David Chisolm and Daniel Cooke to position themselves optimally for goals.
DDNA were not ones to go down without a fight and heightened their intensity in the final quarter with an apparent power surge. Bryce Rowley charged through their midcourt to deliver the ball into Christian White and Jake Novac. Despite outscoring Blackhawks in the final quarter, 19-8, their efforts kicked in just too late. This win for Blackhawks gives them a one match clearance in the top four.
Feisty summed up the match between Seahawks and Sharks this week in what was known as the sea animals battle. Seahawks were coming off a Round 6 win while Sharks looked determine to come back from their prior loss to Cougars.
Despite the mid court from both sides influencing the match flow, it was the goaling ends that captivated spectators. With scores separated by a mere two goals for the majority of the game, the victorious team came down to their accuracy in goals. Jake Schuster from Sharks played his role in Goal Defense with conviction, staying front of Jayden Cowling and catching Seahawks’ off guard. However, the goaling efforts from Cowling and Bala were more than enough to see them outscore Sharks in three out of four quarters.
With Junior in goals again for Sharks, Seahawks defender Timothy Malmo was forced to increase his work rate. Fortunately for him and his team, he rose to the occasion to put up a great contest that helped to keep Seahawks slightly in front going into the final quarter. A credit to Bala’s final quarter goaling, Seahwawks successfully took home a one goal win to make it their third in 2019.
Blackhawks rose to the challenge this week to take home a much needed win in order to hang on to fourth place for another week.
Blackhawks’ ability to create turnovers and put consistent pressure over the ball forced Sonics to rush their passes. Blackhawks showcased a free-flowing transition down the court, making it hard for their play to be disrupted. Despite Sonics picking up the pace across the second half, Blackhawks’ defensive pressure was too much for them. This led to frantic play by Sonics with many balls being thrown out of court.
Another win on the board for Panthers sees them lengthen their margin in the competition and assert themselves as a formidable force as finals approach. With Brodie Roberts in goals and Georgette Paatsch down in defence, Panthers increased their lead as the match went on, simultaneously keeping Pasifika’s scoring shots low.
Riley Richardson in Centre looked in his element alongside Elle McDonald; the pair driving, dodging and passing with precision Casey Adamson in Wing Defence played another outstanding match, maneuvering herself down the court, creating space and executing strategic passes.
Sharks only on 18 goals going into the last quarter, they made a strategic move of Junior Levi. With him in goals, as opposed to defence, Sharks shot 18 goals to keep up with Panthers who goaled 19. However, this change was made too late in the match and allowed Panthers the mammoth 26 goal win.
Playing hard and fast until the final seconds of the match, Vipers persistent play secured them their first win of the season to move up from the bottom of the ladder.
Vipers had a strong team with heightened on-court communication this week. They were not afraid of the competition and entered the match with an excellent fight, beginning to to blowout the margin in the first quarter as they scored 20 goals to St Therese’s 10 goals.
Clare Johnson’s speedy movement in St Therese’s defence did well to keep up with Vipers. Still, Vipers’ fast paced movement of the ball seemed to shake St Therese at times, who made some unfortunate fumbles of play. The cohesive play in Vipers’ attack was captivating to watch as Bridget Ryan and Michael Dower bounced off each other, reoffering and presenting well directed passes.
A tough contest between Cougars and Wolves this week showcased the talent from both sides. Allie Smith returned in her Cougars colours to provide a wealth of support.
In the midcourt, Liv Taylor and Nat Billings made for a striking match-up in the second quarter, the two sticking on each other like glue. Jake Noonan maneuvered his way down the court to drive to space and feed into the goals. Dominance in Cougar’s communication and tactical thinking was evident from the first whistle, which allowed them to come out blazing and make Wolves well-aware who’s game was going to be played.
While Brayden Pastore displayed balance on the baseline, James Story for Wolves worked equally hard in goals to keep his team in the game. A lull from Geelong in the third quarter presented an opportunity where it seemed Wolves could take the lead for the first time in the match. Unsurprisingly, Geelong drove the match home with a 14 goal quarter.
Geelong’s win this week holds their second place position, only one match win ahead of Wolves.
Men’s Division One
Despite a loss this week against DDNA, Titans still grasp on to fourth place for another week.
Holding a comfortable lead throughout the game, it was control of the ball that produced a win for DDNA. Despite assertiveness by Titans in their midcourt and a consistent pressure in defence, DDNA’s plays down the court could not be beaten, especially with such force behind each pass.
Each player from DDNA knew exactly where to pass as if they anticipated the following three passes, which nicely assisted to their final score of 51.
Combat started on a high with decisive decision making to take a slight lead in the first quarter of the match. With Donovan-Hill’s drive in Combat’s attack end and Dominic Bates’ quick feeding into goals, Combat fought hard in the second quarter to hold the lead.
Bucks’ determination trumped the Combat in the second half. This seemed to come as a result of position shake ups in their midcourt and defence. Bucks executed a brilliant final half that highlighted the communication and team solidarity that has attributed to their wins over the season. Making this win especially sweet for them, it puts them in a prime first place position for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately for Storm, Round 7 left them still without only one win for 2019.
DDNA Teal dominated the contest from the get-go to secure a 37 goal win and their fifth win of the season. Thomas Fisher once again showed us why he is one of the division’s top goalers as he swiftly shot more than half of DDNA’s final score with 58 goals.
Mixed Division One
Despite still sitting out of the top four, Ariels performance in Round 7 gave us reason to believe they may sneak their way in come finals.
Ariels took a commanding lead that was sustained with the help of their defensive pressure over the ball to force turnovers, resulting in extra goals. Despite St Therese’s resilience to come back, Ariels were switched on more than ever and nothing was going to get through them, especially in their defence.
Experiencing their first loss of 2019 this week was LTU Eagles who’s undefeated streak came to a close at the hands of DDNA Red.
Strategy seemed to separate the two tonight, DDNA giving more thought to their passes as opposed to Eagles who seemed to rush and fumble under the pressure. DDNA were switched on in their goal circle, re-positioning themselves on the circle edge, timing their feeds in and resetting the play when needed. This gave them a heightened confidence when goaling, allowing them to secure more shots at the end of the night.
Phoenix’s decisiveness across the court was no match for DDNA this week. Bombing a whopping 74 goals in 60 minutes, Fitzroy put themselves in a tough to beat position.
Despite DDNA’s comeback intensity in the third quarter, Phoenix’s lead was too large and they finished off doubling DDNA’s final score. Another win sees them another week undefeated in 2019.
Bullets demonstrated in their win against Ariels that a dominant lead in first quarter can make or break a victory.
Some intercepts in the first quarter helped Bullets get up on Ariels and consistent plays helped expand their lead every quarter to achieve their fourth win. Bullets remained calm and composed over the match, however switched gears when needed to catch Ariels off guard and force needed turnovers.
Make sure to keep up with next weeks matches and check out the 2019 MLeague fixtures!