One last VNL Grand Finalist to be decided

IT is Preliminary Final Day in the Victorian Netball League (VNL), and all eyes will be on the State Netball and Hockey Centre as the Geelong Cougars tale on Melbourne University.

It is certainly not the preliminary final fans would have expected, but it is the one they are going to get. Despite going into last week’s Major Semi-Final as favourites, Geelong was unable to overcome the City West Falcons in an overtime thriller. That means they find themselves in a do or die Preliminary Final against Melbourne University, who overcame the Hawks in the Minor Semi-Final last week.

Of all the possible combinations of Preliminary Final teams, it is exactly what Melbourne University and their fans would have wanted, but at the same being the least favourite option for the Cougars. It was because before last weekend, only one team had managed to defeat Geelong all season – Melbourne University.

Back in Round 5, it was a 47-40 win to the Lightning, but in the return tie just over a month ago it was the Cougars who won 56-47. So although it was the Lightning who handed Geelong their only loss in the regular season, the fact that Geelong won their more recent encounter will give the Cougars some confidence heading into tonight’s encounter.

Both of these sides are full of exceptional talent so there are plenty of entertaining battles across the court in store for fans tonight. Brooke Allen taking on Mikaela Vaughan. Victoria Honner facing Claudia Mawson. Zanna Woods and Julia Woolley up against Maggie Caris, Ramayer Gourley and Gabbey Coffey. The list could go on, but just these battles in the respective shooting circles are enough to entice any fan.

In the end, fans can expect an entertaining clash tonight that could really go either way. The winner moves on to face City West Falcons next week in the VNL Grand Final, so both sides will fight to the dying second to achieve the win.

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