Thrilling conflicts and stunning tricks at Round 6 of MLeague led to final second steals and first quarter blowouts.
The two DDNA sides in Mixed Division One hit the court to determine the superior netballers of Doncaster. In Men’s Premier, two matches played side by side saw winners decided within the final three minutes of their clashes, while in Mixed Premier Panthers’ undefeated winning streak continued with force.
Keen on getting you Round 6 MLeague fix? Well find out all that went down below!
In one of the most showstopping matches of the round, Geelong came too close to losing their undefeated title when Pasifika Sharks came to play.
Geelong took a comfortable first quarter lead and outplayed Sharks with dynamic movements down the court and rapid plays which caught their opposition off guard. Sharks persevered through the second quarter which brought within two goals of taking the lead as teams entered the second half. In a tough fought third quarter, Cougars and Sharks were as fierce as one another and clearly matched one another as competitors.
Cougars drove hard and fast to the ball to execute some impressive passes and showcase their intricacy of play. Sharks tore up the court with the powerful passes and a succinct goal end.
One goal the difference with three minutes left in the match, you could cut the tension in the air. The ball went back and fourth, back and fourth. A missed goal by Pasifika with 30 seconds left saw Cougars shoot a goal and take it to their centre pass. Two goals in front and mere second ticking, Cougars maintained possession of the ball to take home their sixth consecutive win.
Blackhawks saw their third win of the season as they played a steady and controlling game of netball against Ariels. Blackhawk’s consistent dynamic to anticipate the movement and placement of team mates to pass to could not be slowed.
Strength from Blackhawk’s defence to intervene with Ariel’s goal focus allowed them to hold their lead over the course of the match, ending with a hard-earned 11 goal win.
In another thrilling match for the night, second took on third in a hard fought contest between Sirens and St Therese.
With control of the ball early on, St Therese played a consistent and dominant contest for the entirety of the match. However, it was a final quarter power surge from Sirens that would leave them one win closer to first place.
Sirens struggled to get accuracy of their passes into the goals at first which gave plenty of opportunity for St Therese to intercept passes and convert them into goals. Sirens also struggled to finish off plays with goals in the first half, but then a switch of players saw them get their goaling groove back in time to swoop in for the win.
A steady lead throughout the match, Seahawks delivered a clean game of netball to see their second win of the season.
Persistent in their pressure over the ball and more confident in their passes, Seahawks took a seven goal lead in the first half that was maintained over the final two quarters. Despite strategic goaling strategies from DDNA, precise shooting was displayed by Seahawks which finished off the hard work of the rest of their side.
DDNA came out with a game plan to start strong and secure. Plays into their goals were clean and strategic. Tragedy struck in the first half for them though, when trusted goaler Sam Bury went down with an injury to pull him from the rest of the match. This gave plenty of opportunity for Valley Wolves to pump up their paces and keep scores tight with DDNA.
While DDNA started well, it was Valley Wolves kept with them for the entire match. Valley’s midcourt defensive efforts were impressive and allowed conversions. They were able to hold up DDNA and force them to make rushed decisions, costing DDNA needed goals. Karina Martin was especially vital for the success of Wolves in the third quarter, forcing turnoverds and disruptions of DDNA’s play.
Scores tight as anything, the final quarter split the two sides and saw Wolves sneak on top to secure their fifth victory of the season.
Another win on the board for Parkville sees them maintain their leading margin in the competition and assert themselves as a formidable force for finals early in the season.
More than tripling Sonic’s score in the first quarter, Panthers pounced and went in for the kill from the very first centre pass. Annihilating the competition’s goal count every quarter, Panthers couldn’t be stopped with impressive intercepts that couldn’t be faulted and goal accuracy every quarter.
Pasifika’s fourth win of the season also landed them in fourth place on the ladder as they won by four goals against St Therese.
Pasifika managed to obtain an 11 goal lead in the second quarter which allowed them to highlight their team plays and loud Sharks spirit they’re known for. Pulling back in the third quarter, St Therese weren’t admitting defeat an outscored the Sharks by nine goals.
Heading into the final quarter it was still a tight contest, especially with striking match ups in the midcourt. Sharks were able to persevere until the last second and see out a much needed win.
In Vipers closest final score of the season, they came all too close to taking out top competitors Geelong Cougars. It was little too late for the NNE side though, who are yet to get points on the ladder.
It was a fluctuating first half in this struggle for control of the ball and game by Geelong and Vipers. The intensity from the Vipers was unlike any match from this year. For Geelong, they were just as intense as every other week but seemed to lack their usual consistency.
Cougars brought it back for the third quarter which gave them an advantage going into the final quarter. In a fiercely contested battle, Geelong were able to just hold onto their lead enough to walk away with their fifth win of 2019.
Men’s Division One
With a 22 goal win against DDNA Red, Bucks remain in equal first on the competition ladder for another week, alongside Combat and Titans.
DDNA kept Bucks in their sights most of the match only to let Bucks runaway with a win in the final half.
Bucks’ ability in the midcourt to readjust and reoffer allowed them to capitalise on turnovers and not throw the ball away. Paul Teys and Aaron Clarke paired well in their goal end but DDNA’s Daniel Kostovski made sure they worked for goals. Bucks transitions down the midcourt were maneuvered well as they pounced and drove towards the ball with ferocity, ultimately making them the superior side.
Despite starting the season with two back to back wins, St Therese didn’t have it in them last night which allowed DDNA Teal to take an easy landslide of a win.
With St Therese shooting a maximum of four goals per quarter, it highlighted the immense abilities of DDNA’s defence and transitioning work after obtaining rebounds. St Therese look unsettled from the first whistle which saw them force passes, rush goaling opportunities and at times throw the ball directly to their opposition.
DDNA were calm, composed and, most importantly, consistent over the four quarters. Despite sitting one match away from the top three, if they perform like they did this week there is no telling what fierce competitors they’ll be for finals.
Equal first took on bottom ladder Storm in what was turned out to be a closer match than expected. However, the Combat prevailed as the dominant side.
Only two goals behind at the first break, Southern Storm put up powerful plays to compete with Combat. The second quarter saw Combat break away with an 11 goal quarter, then continue their efforts into the second half to shoot away and reach a final score of 48. Ultimately, it was Combat’s cleaner transitions and increased reach for rebounds that allowed them to achieve this final outcome.
Mixed Division One
Undefeated and as formidable as ever, Fitzroy took their winning streak one week further in a landslide victory against Ariels Juniors.
Phoenix took a promising lead early in the match, shooting 21 goals in the first quarter, which would ultimately decide the fate of the match. Their 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.
An immense 42 goal win cements Fitzroy as the team to beat in Mixed Division One.
Charging their way into the top four this week were Melbourne Bucks who demonstrated their intricate skills on court in a 26 goal win over St Therese.
Bucks’ goal circle was fast and furious with decisive passes of all varieties. From bounce to lobs to swings on the circle, Bucks were on fire and unpredictable to defend. This rewarded the hard work of their midcourt and defensive end, highlighting their team compatibility. Unfortunately St Therese just couldn’t seem to finish off their transitions despite a number of notable intercepts.
It was a clash of the teams in blue last night, Doncaster’s Pink and Red sides going up against one another to determine the higher-ranking team of the pair.
With Red sitting in the top four, a win for them would cement their place among the fiercest competitors. This must have been playing on their minds as they took to the court with a clear goal to show Pink who were boss. Red managed to breakaway early and assert themselves as the dominant DDNA team. Their intensity in the midcourt kept them driving hard and was encapsulated by the work of Wing Attack Meg Hogan. Red’s placement on the circe edge was precise nearly every time and made it easier to find prime passes into their goalers.
Despite picking up the pace in the second half, Pink unfortunately just seemed slower in their movements against Red which left them trailing behind and unable to get another win on the board.
This was a match of strategy from both sides as Ariels and Bullets battled it out.
Each side had a clear strength. For Ariels it was their attack end and feeding. For Bullets it was their persistence down the court and tight defensive abilities. With scores level at half time, big talk from Ariel’s Kurt Thompson lifted their team. However, it was Bullets who entered the final quarter with a three goal advantage due to their ability to capitalise on turnovers.
Ariels caught up early in the final quarter which led to a neck and neck contest right until the match-ending whistle. A decisive intercept by Lorna Clark for Ariels allowed them to take a slight lead and hold it until the end of the match. In this fiery contest, only one goal could separate the two teams and Ariels walked away with a minute win, however a win nonetheless.
Make sure to keep up with next weeks matches and check out the 2019 MLeague fixtures!