First Nations Round brings a whole lot of big wins

THE inaugural VNL First Nations’ Round brought big margins to those who emerged victorious from their matches last night.

One of those teams was Melbourne University Lightning, who completely dominated the Ariels to win 59 to 41, and keep the Ariels’ winless run in tact.

The first quarter of their clash was one of swinging momentums.

Melbourne University Lightning got off to the much better start, racing ahead to a 3-0 lead before the Ariels even got one on the board. 

They maintained their lead for a while before the Ariels started to come back at them, even managing to level things up.

The Lightning were able to maintain the ascendancy into the quarter time break though, as the margin sat at three goals in favour of the Lightning.  

If quarter one was the swinging momentum’s quarter, quarter two was the Lightning storm.

The Lightning dominated the whole period, and extended their lead out to as much as 11 goals, which is exactly where the margin sat at half time.

Not only were Lightning shooters Mikaela Vaughan and Claudia Mawson working well and proving to be very accurate under the ring, but defenders Maggie Caris and Ramayer Gourley were taking plenty of intercepts up the other end and denying plenty of the Ariels’ attacking chances.

Meanwhile for the Ariels, despite a significant height disadvantage, that did not stop Stacey Gannon from finding her accuracy from range early and proving quite the head ache for the Lightning defenders to deal with.

Lightning’s dominance continued early in the third term and extended their lead out to as much as 16 goals in the early part of the term.

The Lighting continued to grow their lead as the quarter progressed, with their defenders in particular lifting even further then in the first half and thwarting a lot of potential Ariels goals.

As the teams turned for home, the margin had stretched out to 17 goals and the Ariels had a lot of work to do to get back in the game.  

Unfortunately for the Ariels, they made absolutely no progress up that huge mountain in the early stages of the final term, as the Lightning extended their lead out even further to as much as 20 goals.

The Ariels were able to peg it back slightly during the back half of the quarter, but still lost by 18 goals as the Lightning got the reward for a solid four quarter performance.

In other results, the Casey Demons ended their four match losing streak with a win over the Boroondara Express, while City West Falcons and the Southern Saints both had solid wins over the North East Blaze and Peninsula Waves respectively.


Ariels (41) lost to Melbourne University Lightning (59)
North East Blaze (58) lost to City West Falcons (68)
Boroondara Express (62) lost to Casey Demons (87)
Peninsula Waves (46) lost to Southern Saints (66)
Geelong Cougars vs. Hawks Netball

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