Penultimate round delivers interesting results
THE penultimate round of the 2022 VNL Championship season saw some very interesting results that will certainly play a part in shaping the final look of the ladder.
The match of the round saw the City West Falcons record a dominant win over the Melbourne Uni Lightning, 73-48.
It was a tale of two halves as the Falcons really put the foot down in the second half to run away with the win.
It was a tight yet fast paced start to the match, with both sides trading blows.
However, the Falcons were really able to utilise the strong work rate of Madelyn Gray in Goal Attack and the height advantage of Jane Cook to establish a bit of a lead. Although the Lightning were able to keep pace with their opponents, they just could not quite fully bridge the gap.
As the quarter progressed though, the Lightning were able to cut the margin and suddenly the scores were even again. Though, at quarter time it was the Falcons who lead by the slimmest of margins.
Despite the best defensive intercept efforts from Maggie Caris and the ever strong partnership up the other end between Mikaela Vaughan and Claudia Mawson up the other end, it was the Falcons who got the better start to the second quarter and their lead grew as a result.
Someone else who was having a stellar second term was Zoe Davies. If Caris was the Intercept Queen for the Lightning in the second term, then the Falcons had one of their own in Davies.
The Falcons were able to maintain their lead for the rest of the quarter, but it was not a huge lead and at the major break their lead was only four goals.
After the half time break though, things started to fall apart from the Lightning.
The high intensity from the first half continued in the third term, but it was the Falcons who really put the foot down and took control of their game.
Davies really starred in the quarter as the Lightning saw their shooting opportunities really limited thanks largely in part to her defensive intercept work.
Despite it being an entertaining quarter, the Falcon lead was out to 16 goals at the final change and the Falcons looked set to earn themselves another win.
The Lightning made a number of positional changes at three quarter time in the hope they could turn things around.
Unfortunately for the Lightning it did not work as the Falcon lead just continued to grow and grow, extending out to over 20 goals.
The Falcons went on to win the quarter 17 goals to eight to record the dominant win.
In other results, the Wilson Storage Southern Saints almost pulled off an almighty upset over Geelong, but went down by a mere two goals, while Casey’s faint finals hopes were officially quashed with a loss to the Hawks. Meanwhile Boroondara and North East had a much easier time of things, comfortably defeating Ariels and Peninsula respectively.
VNL CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND 17 RESULTS
Wilson Storage Southern Saints (56) lost to Geelong Cougars (58)
Casey Demons (60) lost to Hawks Netball (66)
City West Falcons (73) defeated Melbourne University Lightning (48)
Boroondara Express (65) defeated Ariels (50)
Peninsula Waves (49) lost to North East Blaze (64)