Lightning strikes over Cougars in hard-fought win
DESPITE a third quarter fight back from the Geelong Cougars, the Melbourne University Lightning added another victory to their Victorian Netball League (VNL) tally, winning 51-46 last night.
Many expected this to be a convincing win for the Cougars, but a first half push by the Lightning proved otherwise. Lightning went off to an early four goal run, giving them all the confidence they needed to ride the rest of the game out.
The Lightning featuring their two best ball winners and tagger in their defensive line up definitely stirred the pot, with it being difficult not having all three personalities out on court.
Ramayer Gourley just seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Getting up high in the air and just sneakily getting in front of her opposition to get a nice front positioned intercept. Some of which the ball just fell into her hands.
The introduction of Cougars shooter Zanna Woods (13 goals) seemed to give the attack line some balance, with her experience being able to pace the ball in the attacking third while getting some great space out the front and was able to shoot from anywhere.
Speaking of long range specialists, Claudia Mawson had a stunning outing shooting majority of Lightning’s goals, with 35, while getting amazing space. Her rolls off the body were perfectly timed, her drives in and out of the circle were brilliant, and it seemed as though she could not miss from anywhere. For being the shortest in the circle as well, her elevation was spectacular to get quite a few rebounds.
It got a bit scary for the Lightning early in the third with some costly and unforced turnovers which were dropping some heads.
Defence from the Cougars also turned it up a notch, going out for more of a fly in the pockets from the midcourters and going up for some high balls that seemed difficult to reach, but when in doubt they pulled it in.
The Cougars discipline in attack kept the Lightning awfully quiet in the third term being able to score 16 compared to the Lightning’s seven. From a margin pushed out to as much as 10 early in the third, the Cougars tied it up at the last break 38 all off the hand of a long range Woods goal after the siren from a penalty.
The Lightning put their foot down in the fourth and proved that their first half was not a fluke and that they wanted the win so desperately, they decided to take the win by five goals.
VICTORIAN NETBALL LEAGUE ROUND 12 RESULTS – CHAMPIONSHIP
Ariels (47) defeated by City West Falcons (82)
Wilson Storage Southern Saints (48) defeated by Boroondara Express (66)
Peninsula Waves (56) defeated by North East Blaze (59)
Hawks Netball (48) defeated by Casey Demons (59)
Melbourne University Lightning (51) defeated Geelong Cougars (46)