Entering the second week of the 2019 MLeague season, teams from all four divisions got their groove back on court.
From one scoring end of the spectrum to the other, teams either walked away with monstrous winning margins or hung on until the very last second to steal one point wins.
Here’s all that happened at round two of MLeague, and trust us when we say it was a lively one!
In a win cemented by their first half performance, Geelong Cougars achieved their second victory of the season with motivation and drive to defeat DDNA.
Nearly identical to their final margin against Ariels last week, Cougars lead never dropped below 10 goals as they came out quick in the first quarter to obtain a 13-goal advantage.
Despite DDNA’s improvement of play in the second half, Cougars proved too superior to be taken down.
Another blowout win for the night went to Pasifika Sharks who have asserted themselves as true competitors for 2019.
It was a tough contest for Ariels who clearly were not ones to back down without bringing the fight. Ariels midcourt was speedy and their passes into goals shifty, keeping them in the game at half time with only 8 goals to catch up to sharks.
It was Sharks’ winning third quarter that decided the match, Junior Levi and Brandon D’Monte shooting 16 goals as opposed to Ariel’s 7 goals.
A 15-goal win for Sharks reflected their persistent defending which resulted in intercepts and turnovers for the goalers to utilise.
Despite quite an equally contested match, Sirens managed to pull out an elevated third quarter with fierce combinations to more than triple Seahawks’ third quarter scoring shots.
After a first week loss, a 12-goal win for Sirens gives them a boost in the competition as they take on Ariels next week.
A commanding start from St Therese was consistent across four quarters to nearly quadruple their first quarter lead of 6 and finish with a 22 goals win.
Blackhawks’ defensive pressure forced a number of turnovers throughout the match which gave them opportunities to come back. Succinct plays from St Therese outplayed Blackhawks however, Corey Nexhip from St Therese working well in the circle with the ball decisively fed in from wing attack Connor Lilly.
Unfortunately for Vipers, their fancy footwork in the midcourt and sneaky passes to get around Sharks wasn’t enough to see through the win against them.
The first centre pass indicated the tight bond of Vipers attacking end. Constant feeding the wing was utilised to allow goalers Michael Dower and Bridget Ryan to free space on the base line and drive.
For Sharks though, their booming voices and plays on court allowed them to execute the passes into their goalers, who confidently shot with accuracy.
It was match of notable netball names, Cougars and Panthers tore up the court from both ends.
For Cougars, VNL veterans Julia Wooley, Gerard Murphy, Sarah Szczykulski, Laura Giles and Vanessa Augustini worked with their team like a well oiled machine. Opposing them for Parkville stood Elle McDonald and Uneeq Palavi from the Netball Victoria pathways, as well as the known MLeague Nexhip twins.
The ferocity from this contest saw the scores fluctuate over the match. Panthers held a sizable lead going into the final quarter. Despite Cougars playing their best quarter of the match to shoot 17 goals and hold Panthers’ goals to 8, Panthers lead was too large and they walked home with the win.
Despite a close first quarter battle between the two sides, only 2-goals the difference, DDNA ran away with the lead from the second quarter onwards to result a 6-goal defeat over Blackhawks. It was the third quarter that got DDNA across the line as they secured 19 goals.
An 18-goal final quarter from both sides demonstrated the determination to win, and with that some rough tumbles in the Blackhawks goal third.
Their score being doubled by Wolves at the first break, Sonics kicked into overdrive in the second half of the match to come back and try to turn the tables.
In a thrilling final quarter, they increased their score to catch up with Wolves, who had been playing strong but faded in the final quarter. With seconds to go Sonics trailed by one goal. Much to Wolves’ luck, the whistle went just in time for them to obtain their first win of the season.
Men’s Division One
Securing a second win for the season, St Therese played an impressive match to secure 10-goal win and beat DDNA Red.
DDNA’s fast pace movement of the ball seemed to shake St Therese in the first quarter for them to lead by 4-goals. St Therese entered the second quarter with a heightened intensity to flip the margin and maintain a consistent lead until the final quarter, consequently driving home with the win.
A steady lead throughout the entire match, Bucks delivered an outstanding performance to walk away with a sizable win, to say the least.
Persistent in their pressure over the ball and confident in their passes, Bucks took a 20-goal lead in the first quarter that only extended over the course of the match to achieve whopping a 45-goal defeat over Falcons.
A tough match for Titans saw them down by 13 goals at the end of the first half. Never mind the slow start though, because as the second half kicked off Titans movement, positioning and decision making improved tenfold.
As the final quarter neared the end, it was a contest becoming closer and closer by the second. Despite their efforts, Titans fell short by one goal to DDNA Teal.
Mixed Division One
Unfortunately due to wet courts, this intense contest ended early which left both sides feeling a little unsatisfied.
Both sides demonstrated strengths within their thirds, which resulted in the scores fluctuating up and down each quarter. With Eagles leading by 2 goals in the first quarter then barely holding onto it by one goal at the end of the second quarter, a draw of 40 goals all decided the match.
From the players:
“Bucks won the competition last season so we were coming in not to sure of what the end result would be. Even though we walk away with a draw, it was a great game by us and the 40 points from both sides I think shows that.
We’ve got a couple of short girls and then some tall boys and are jelling pretty well to come together. Our shooter Michael and how he pulls that ball in with two hands every time is going to help us so much and our talk on court is a standout for us, for sure. We are going to go through this season positive and playing for each other.” – Emily Ktona, LTU Eagles
Bullets and Phoenix both walked into last night with week one wins on their belts. Bullets just couldn’t reach it this week against Phoenix who came out on top by 18-points.
Some fumbling of the ball by Bullets gave the opportunity to Phoenix to score off these turnovers and take a steady lead. Accuracy in Phoenix’s goal end outshone Bullets and the feeding in their attack set the goalers up well.
From the players:
“We had really good defensive pressure and caused turnovers in the midcourt that were really valuable. Keeping close to their body in defence kept us close as we could be in the game. They had really strong attackers so it was important we didn’t give them really easy circle feeds.
Consistency is really important to us. The first two weeks have seen a lot of fill-ins for us so we are really hoping to stabilise our lineup. This will help us work out our strongest set rotations.” – Brendan Nick, St Kilda Bullets
After a sizeable loss to Phoenix last week, Ariels came back strong for week two and flipped the tables.
Their movements shone on court with their succinct passes into goals and around circle almost unstoppable. Despite some impressive moments from DDNA, they currently sit yet to attain a win in 2019.
From the players:
“It started off close but we blew it out with some momentum I think of the team. We are getting used to one another and will keep jelling as a team to see how we go.
Coming from VNL to play in MLeague feels like a completely different game of netball. It’s so much more fast paced and different in the best possible way.” – Lorna Clarke, Ariels
A close contest for the entirety of the match, no one could call who would take away the win this week between DDNA and St Therese.
The winner of this back and forth contest ultimately came down to a couple last minute turnovers which allowed DDNA to transition the ball from one end to the other and secure a satisfying win.
From the players:
“It was definitely four quarters of netball and in the end a win is a win, even if that’s by one goal.
“It was good to see some relationships on court starting to form, considering it’s only our second week. The team put up a good fight. Our midcourt is really strong and the Doncaster girls have worked well together the last couple of seasons in their own tournament, so having that dynamic is really helping us.” – Daniel Kostovski, DDNA Red
Make sure to keep up with next weeks matches and check out the 2019 MLeague fixtures!