There was nothing but fierce competition on the agenda for Round 5 of MLeague Wednesday night. Teams took to the State Netball and Hockey Centre to climb their way up the ladder which resulted in some unexpected losses and some surprising victories.
It was a battle of the Ariels in Mixed Division One, while in Men’s Premier Pasifika Sharks snuck their way in to the top four to redeem themselves from last week.
Want to know who to look out for as the season progresses? Keep reading to get all the news as to what went down this week at MLeague!
With no signs of slowing down, Geelong Cougars have secured their fifth consecutive win of the season to remain the only undefeated team in Men’s Premier. It wasn’t the most comfortable win for Cougars however, Seahawks bringing their full intensity to result in a match full of golden moments.
In a tight first half, the defence from both Cougars and Seahawks was strategically skilled. Alastair Punshon showed off his amazing vertical leap in defence which lead to a number of turnovers which allowed Jake Noonan and Jed Christian to transition the ball swiftly.
Only two goals the difference heading into the second half, Cougars ran away with the win in the third quarter to shoot 16 goals and keep Seahawks scoring shots to a mere four goals. A notable mention to Cameron Allum in Geelong’s goals who contributed to 70% of his teams final score.
It was a second half turnaround by DDNA that landed them a six goal win over Ariels this week.
It looked as though Ariels were surging with intensity as they took the court in the first quarter. The only team yet to obtain a win this season, their eyes were on the prize and their motivation was redemption. Michael Dower and Dean Stubbs kept control of the ball in Ariels’ attack end. When shots were missed, Dower and Kurt Thompson leaped without fear to rip in the ball and secure a goal. Ariels were succinct and direct, but so were DDNA.
Driving hard and fast, DDNA came from six goals behind Ariels to lead by a single goal at the end of the third quarter. Despite a shaky start, the final quarter demonstrated the teamwork of DDNA and their strategic positioning down the court. Christian White was as speedy as ever and Bryce Rowley directed the play of the ball well to keep the pace DDNA needed. Finishing with a 16 goal final quarter, DDNA walked away with their second win of the season.
Blackhawks needed a win against Sirens this week to keep their top four position on the ladder. Unfortunately for them, Sirens’ motivations to maintain superiority in the competition couldn’t be overcome.
Sirens came out strong with speed and precision from their defenders. Blackhawks were just as riled to go with fast feeding around the goal circle and force in their attack end. Blackhawks kept Sirens in their sights during the first half, only three goals behind at the first and second breaks. Sirens then doubled this lead in the third quarter to possess a six goal lead heading in to the final 15-minutes. A hard fought final quarter from Blackhawks saw fatigue set in and they just couldn’t keep up with Sirens.
This win for Sirens sees them secure their fourth consecutive victory and move into second place, one game win behind Geelong.
It was a match you couldn’t look away from between Sharks and St Therese this week. Both teams on the back end of disappointing round four losses, this was a match of redemption.
St Therese pounced from the get-go to secure a five goal lead in the first quarter. Credit for this lead came down to Jake McSwan in Goal Keeper who’s defensive abilities shone on court. The height of his jumps and quick-thinking movements to cover both the Goal Shooter and Goal Attack proved an asset to his team.
This lead was short lived however, as the return of Junior Levi seemed to re-energize Sharks as a unit. Shane Maniapoto by his side in goals, Sharks had the perfect balance in their goal circle with Levi’s height and Maniapoto’s speed and placement. This dynamic duo allowed Sharks to steal the lead in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, St Therese were forced to bounce around circle and re-position themselves due to Sharks’ defenders getting around the body of their opposition. Despite a clear never-say-die attitude from St Therese, Sharks powered through to the very last goal to win by a comfortable 15 goals. This win puts them back in the top four heading into round six.
Wolves took a quick first quarter lead but Blackhawks stuck with them over a full 60-minutes to stay on their tails.
Strong pressure down the midcourt and consistency to capitalise on turnovers, Wolves took control of the game early to hold a 14 goal lead at the end of the first half. While Blackhawks passed along the sidelines to keep momentum and catch Wolves off guard, Alastair Punshon in Goal Shooter showed off his spins and splits when receiving the ball. Simon Cartwright for Blackhawks’ defence kept them in with a chance.
Wolves began to rush their play in the third quarter which lead to throwing passes away and presenting opportunities for Blackhawks. Unfortunately Blackhawks couldn’t convert needed turnovers when the pressure was on.
Wolves retain equal second place on the ladder.
After an upsetting win last week, DDNA rallied themselves to come back strong against NNE Vipers, who unfortunately are yet to experience a win in 2019.
Leading the entirety of the match, DDNA started only three goals in front at the end of the first quarter. A change in game pace going into the second quarter saw the formidable force of DDNA unleash as Christian While shot 15 goals to extend their lead to 10 goals. DDNA’s transition of play and tight defence over the court forced plenty of turnovers and allowed them to get their hands on the ball. Sam Mackerras executed another outstanding match in the midcourt, dodging, driving and feeding with precision.
Vipers were persistent still, and brought their A-game in the third an fourth quarter to come back from a sizable deficit and trail by only five goals at the end of the match.
With speed in their transitions and ease executing plays, Geelong emerged to record a convincing 34 goal win over St Therese, one win closer to first place.
Cougars took off early in the match to double St Therese’s first quarter score. With impressive goals each quarter, it seemed apparent early on that Cougars were in charge. Fancy footwork from Sarah Szczykulski and height over the ball from Jake Dambrauskas displayed the formidable force of Cougars defence. Down in their goals, the midcourt knew exactly when to swing the ball on the circle edge and when to force the pass in.
After a landslide win for their Men’s team, Sharks backed up the night with a close but compelling win over Eastside Sonics.
A steady match from Sharks allowed them to secure a well-earned win that displayed consistent teamwork across the court. Sonics’ framework and strategic play on court allowed them to have a number of strong moments across the night as they lead by a goal in the first half. The end result for this match came down to consistency across four quarters and Sharks’ ability to achieved needed goals in the finals quarter gave them the win.
Men’s Division One
With one win each so far, DDNA Red and Southern Storm were competing to not stay on the bottom of the ladder.
DDNA took a ripper lead in the first quarter with 15 goals. Their height and tight defensive movements, sticking to players and disrupting Storm’s attempts to pass into their goalers. DDNA looked calm and composed in their transitions, a big improvement from their match last week.
Southern Storm switched gears in the second quarter to lessen the margin. Unfortunately DDNA didn’t slow down enough for their lead to be taken. DDNA’s win moves them up the ladder into fifth place.
An unsettled start from St Therese resulted in them playing catch-up to Northern Titans over four quarters.
Titans clearly had an agenda to not drop from their equal first position on the ladder. From the very first centre pass, their attackers drove hard and fast to the ball and defensive pressure was put on over the ball from each player.
An 18 goal first quarter set the tone of the match that could not be disrupted, Titans convincingly coming out on top.
Bombing a whopping 16 goals in the first quarter to more than double DDNA’s 6 scoring shots, Combat put themselves in a tough to beat position.
Despite DDNA’s comeback intensity in the final quarter, Combat’s lead was too large and they finished off nearly doubling DDNA’s final score.
Mixed Division One
The battle for club glory resulted in a blowout for the more experience Ariels side despite a strong contest from the newcomers.
A solid 15 goal advantage for Ariels Mixed at the end of the first quarter only matured over the course of the match. Their defence seemed to startle the Juniors as Mixed had the determination to charge for rebounds. With double digit scores each quarter, Mixed showed the Juniors who the boss is with consistency in each third.
It was a doubly sweet victory for Bullets this week who home not only another win but knocked their opposition out of the top four in doing so.
A consistent game from both teams, Bucks lead the way right up until the final quarter where Bullets swooped in to steal the win. Coming from six goals down to take the match demonstrated the determination of Bullets, something not to be underestimated by other sides. Bullets demonstrated improvement in their attacking combinations, transitioning smoothly between the thirds to utilise turnovers from their defensive end.
Holding a comfortable lead throughout most of the game, it was control of the ball that produced another back-to-back win for the undefeated Phoenix.
Despite assertiveness by DDNA in the midcourt, Fitzroy’s plays down the court could not be defeated. Each of their players knew exactly where to pass as if they anticipated the next two passes to follow, which nicely assisted Andrew Lewis to contribute 17 goals in the second quarter. Despite a third quarter comeback attempt from DDNA, Phoenix wanted victory this week and got i with conviction.
If there was any side to take defensive notes from last night, it was undeniably LTU Eagles who’s defensive pressure resulted in immense turnovers and conversions. While St Therese knew how to swiftly pass the ball in their attack and maneuver their way across the thirds, their lack of control let them down this week. Unsteady passes lead to easy intercepts from Eagles who were able to transition the ball confidently to their goalers.
Outscoring St Therese in every quarter, Eagles displayed excellent plays in the final quarter which allowed them to finish strong with 20 goals. Another dominant win sees them only one win away from knocking Fitzroy off top spot.
Make sure to keep up with next weeks matches and check out the 2019 MLeague fixtures!