Cougars bounce back to move through to GF

IT is the Geelong Cougars who will face the City West Falcons in next weekend’s VNL Grand Final, after they defeated Melbourne Uni 57 to 39 in the Preliminary Final.

Both teams traded blows in the opening few minutes, and the pressure and intensity as was up as many would have expected.

However, it was in fact the Lightning who got the early break and raced out to a three goal lead.

Despite Melbourne Uni being able to grow their lead to as much as four goals, the Geelong defenders Victoria Honner and Brooke Allan were certainly not making it easy for the opposition’s shooters Mikaela Vaughan and Claudia Mawson, making them work hard for everything.

The margin ultimately sat at four goals at quarter time in favour of the Lightning.

However, the Cougars came out after quarter time firing, and drew level again with the Lightning inside the first five minutes of the quarter, and then take the lead for themselves, largely thanks to Zanna Woods and her accurate shooting.

Both teams then continued to trade blows for much of the quarter, but then Geelong started to stretch their lead out in the final few minutes of the term.

Their lead got out to as much as five goals, but sat at four in favour of the Cougars at the main break.

The third quarter was when Geelong really got the game on their terms.

Geelong got out to the much better start in the third term, with Vanessa Augustini and Melissa Bragg working well to feed Woods and Julia Woolley to extend the lead out to as much as seven goals.

Although inaccurate shooting from Uni did not help their cause at all and even with some impressive defensive work from the likes of Maggie Caris, the Cougars just had answers for everything thrown at them, and their lead just grew and grew as a result.

As the teams went into the final break, the margin sat at 13 in favour of the Cougars.

That proved to be the decisive quarter as Geelong continued to restrict Melbourne Uni’s ability to score in the final term, and went on to run away with the 18 goal win.

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