Round eight saw the competition intensify as the back end of the 2019 season struck!
In Men’s Premier, we revisited match ups from the very first round with the outcomes proving the top teams really have been decided from the beginning. When it came to Mixed Premier, Vipers and Panthers continued two winning streaks of different kinds.
With star players and some new names to watch out for, find out all you need to know about this week’s MLeague now!
Despite securing a much needed win against the Men’s Premier favourites last week, Sirens couldn’t back it up this week against Pasifika Sharks.
It was an enthralling match to watch between the two sides. Scores would break away and then come to two goals difference every couple of centres, fluctuating up and down. In the first half you couldn’t take your eyes of Tory Allen for Sirens who pounced for intercepts in his Wing Defence bib, assisting his team’s advantage. Allen worked well with Brodie Roberts too in connecting the plays and transitioning the ball after turnovers to capitalise.
It was the second half for Sharks that really saw them want control of the ball, their passes having increased power behind them and their eyes possessing a certain determined look. In Sharks’ goal end, Sirens gave them too much space which made it easier for Sharks to feed in and receive the ball. As per usual, the talk and array of noises from Sharks also indicated their passion on court.
Sharks finished strong with strategy to walk away with the win, double teaming in defence and reoffering on the circle edge in attack.
The top of the ladder took on the bottom this week in the clash between Cougars and Ariels. In an end result only two goals different to round one, Cougars dominated the play from the get-go.
Ariels stuck tighter than expected to Cougars in the first quarter, starting only five goals behind and possessing a certain intensity to lift with their opponent. Geelong didn’t let them stay too close for long though, extending their lead to nine goals to enter the second half. From there they blew the margin right out to finish with with a 27 goal win.
Geelong’s attacking transitions were as tight as usual, Matt Blomeley, Jake Noonan and Brayden Pastore charging down the court. These transitions were made easier for them too due to Ariels not sticking on their players close enough, leaving room for Cougars to find space to drive to. The fourth quarter saw Geelong’s defenders dominate the match with Luke Rawlings and Alastair Punshon making it near impossible for Ariels to score.
Riding the high of their win last week, St Therese were back in fine form to take home an assertive win and hold onto third place on the ladder.
DDNA kept St Therese in their sights during the first quarter, however fatigued over the course of the match to see St Therese take control. With Christian White and David Butler absent, DDNA’s goal accuracy limited them from capitalising on the hard work of defenders Taylor Ford and Jake Novak.
For St Therese, each third had cohesion and consistency. Connor Lilly displayed some impressive mid and long range goaling while team mate Dylan Nexhip kept up the intensity in Goal Keeper.
St Therese will be challenged next week as they come up against Blackhawks who sit with them equal on the ladder.
The Seahawks were back with a vengeance this week after going down to the Blackhawks by 17 goals back in round one. While Seahawks put up a strong fight, history repeated itself with Blackhawks running away with the win in the final quarter.
The battle of the hawks made for a tight match, both with scores and on-court defence. Leading by eight goals entering the second half, Blackhawks were put through their paces in the third quarter by Seahawks’ goalers who shot 12 goals to Blackhawks’ seven goals.
Jayden Cowling’s fast feet in the Seahawks goals led to quick changes in direction to come out for the ball and help keep control in the circle. However with the decisive defensive efforts of Tim Marshall and James Matthews, Blackhawks flourished. Marshall particularly timed his drives to intercept near perfectly; not getting every intercept but getting them when his team needed it.
Blackhawks will look to continue their winning streak as they come up against St Therese who sit equal with them on the ladder.
Vipers achieved their first winning streak of the season, with no signs to slow down anytime soon, as they took out a nail biting win against Valley Wolves.
Coming off their first win of the season last week, Vipers charged into this match with a certain buzz about them. The midcourt combination of Sam Dugan and Chloe Coffin gave Vipers intensity to transition between thirds and strategically work the ball into their goals. Karina Martin and Hannah Kuhar kept the pressure on them for Wolves.
The second and third quarters saw Vipers push their lead out and maintain control of the ball with consistency and a well kept pace of play. The fourth quarter is where things heated up for Wolves, their defenders forcing pressure over Vipers passes and their attackers moving faster in the goal circle to free themselves for feeds.
Only minutes in the left, the scores fluctuated up and down. The scores level, Bridget Ryan’s goaling put Vipers in the lead, just as it had all night. The final minute and Wolves had the ball to bring scores level. A fumble of the ball gave Vipers the ball, holding control until the siren went to get another win on the board.
Unfortunately for Blackhawks, their intent defence and sneaky passes weren’t enough to see through a win.
Once again for Sharks, their booming voices and plays on court allowed them to execute the passes into their goalers, who confidently shot with accuracy. Simon Cartwright’s efforts against Junior Levi in the final quarter depicted Blackhawks’ ability to not give up despite the score difference.
Laura Van Der Westhuizen was a powerhouse for Blackhawks midcourt, connecting play between play with the help of Abby Stranger. Sharks were more dynamic on the court and able to control the ball with confidence to see out the win.
Panthers took out the largest winning margin of the season this week with an emphatic 46 goal win against St Therese. This marks their eighth consecutive win of the season, undefeated and a formidable force.
With the Nexhip brothers at each end and Riley Richardson and Casey Adamson connecting the ball, Panthers lead was established from the first quarter then just built upon. St Therese did well when looking into their goals to feed in with pace, but transitioning the ball let them down and gave too many opportunities for Panthers to turnover the ball.
DDNA secured another win on top of last week in a decisive finish against Eastside Sonics to obtain a 21 goal victory.
As demonstrated in the Mixed and Men’s matches earlier in the night, consistency is key to making or breaking success. Remaining in charge and persistent, some intercepts in the first half helped DDNA get up on Sonics. DDNA managed to pull out an elevated second and third quarter, to shoot a combined score of 34 goals and contribute to their final score of 63.
Men’s Division One
Similar to their first round match up, Titan’s kept a consistent player fixture to take out another calm and composed victory to retain the premiers title.
The two teams were sitting third and fourth on the ladder with equal matches won. This would be the match to split them. The Titans showed plenty of promise throughout, stalling the ball through the midcourt to create turnovers and stopping Combat in its tracks.
Titan’s combined success of defensive pressure and ball control saw them steal the win and bring them a step closer to finals.
A close contest for the entirety of the match, no one could call who would take away the win this week between Storm and St Therese.
The winner of this back and forth contest ultimately came down to a couple last minute turnovers which allowed St Therese to transition the ball from one end to the other and secure a satisfying win.
An elevated third quarter meant the difference between DDNA winning and missing out this week.
In this match between first and second, DDNA maintained a slight lead going into the second half. Melbourne Bucks were on their trail though, only four goals behind entering the third.
Some whopping goaling from DDNA’s Thomas Fisher and James Morrison saw them shoot 16 goals to Titan’s three goals. Despite Bucks outplaying DDNA in the final quarter, they were too far behind to overcome DDNA.
Mixed Division One
Looking to move closer to first place, Bucks played a fierce match against DDNA to see a nine goal win and make it one step closer to finals. Another close start of the night saw Bucks snatch a two goal lead and maintain the lead for a full 60 minutes.
Strong pressure down the midcourt and consistency to capitalise on turnovers, Bucks took real control of the game in the second quarter. Ryan Clements and Lauren Spinks in Bucks’ goals starred on court with their dynamic movements to bounce off one another and secure goals to reward the rest of the team’s efforts.
St Kilda’s winning streak saw no signs of ending this week as they added another decisive defeat to their list.
A second and third quarter blowout for Bullets saw them shoot a combined 38 goals with the assistance of their dynamic midcourt trio, Kellie Davidson, Teah Edelmaier and Amelia Lai. The Bullets transition of play and tight defence over the court forced plenty of turnovers and allowed them to get their hands on the ball.
Ariels Juniors played one of the best matches of the season to overcome DDNA Pink this week. Starting down in the first quarter, they turned things around to pull through.
Ariels ability in the midcourt to readjust and reoffer allowed them to capitalise on turnovers and not throw the ball away as much as DDNA. Ariels paired well in their goal end but Riley made sure they worked for goals. Ariels transitions down the midcourt were maneuvered well as they pounced and drove towards the ball with ferocity to finish strong with the win.
Fitzroy Phoenix remain the team to beat, undefeated and continuing their power surges week after week.
It was a game of momentum this week for Fitzroy. Both teams had their fair share of opportunities and power plays, but Phoenix were looking more dangerous in their transition which left Eagles chasing them on court.
Fitzroy’s variety of position changes in the midcourt highlighted some impressive combinations and versatility in their players.
Make sure to keep up with next weeks matches and check out the 2019 MLeague fixtures!