St Therese and Netblacks to face off again

LAST year’s Premier Men’s grand finalists will take to the court in another epic showdown as Round 12 of the Victorian Men’s & Mixed Netball Association (VMMNA) gets underway tonight. With just two rounds remaining in both that competition and the Premier Mixed division, expect plenty of fierce battles at Parkville, as teams jostle to make finals.


The second grand final rematch of the season takes place at 7pm in the Premier Men’s competition, in a clash that could end up another grand final preview. St Therese locks horns with Netblacks on Court 6, with both sides coming off important wins. St Therese has found form since regaining its full strength side, and has won five on the trot. Two of its early losses came against City Heat and Netblacks, with the second placed side seeking revenge on the former last week, and will now look to do the same this week.

Jayden Cowling has been outstanding in wing attack for St Therese this season, controlling the midcourt and feeding well to the combination of Connor Lilly and Tom Hardwick in the shooting circle. Tim Walker came on midway through the clash against the Heat and provided some great scoring ability, while the work of Riley Richardson in centre is always first class. He could have a huge clash with Deepak Patu in that role, while Jake Hederics has the task of trying to contain Junior Levi. Jake Schuster has an equally tough task up the other end of the court, while Ryan Lovell might get the gig on the in-form Cowling.

In the other two games, Altona Falcons can make the most of a loss to either St Therese or Netblacks by leapfrogging them into third spot with a round to go. The fourth placed Falcons – who have already stamped their ticket into the post-season series – take on the winless Darebin Dragons.

Meanwhile, fifth placed Boroondara Thunder will face a determined City Heat who are hoping to bounce back from consecutive losses to solidify top spot on the table. Though the Thunder could theoretically match the Falcons if they win their remaining two matches, they are 37.6 per cent behind so would need to thrash both opponents.


St Therese vs. Netblacks – Court 6 @ 7pm
Altona Falcons vs. Darebin Dragons – Court 8 @ 7pm
Boroondara Thunder vs. City Heat – Court 10 @ 8:20pm


In a finals-defining round of Premier Mixed M-League action three matches could determine which team ends up fourth on the ladder by the end of next week. While the top three places are sealed with the unbeaten Parkville Panthers, and the 7-3 Geelong and Altona Falcons sides secured, there are three teams still in the running for the fourth spot. One of those is NNE Vipers who hold the prime fourth spot with a 5-4 record, and face seventh placed LTU.

LTU started the season like a house on fire, but more experienced sides started to take more control, with the team now at 3-6 from nine games. Both teams have had two byes this season – the only two to have copped that honour, and they will engage in an expected thriller tonight. NNE Vipers could theoretically catch the second and third placed sides if they can produce some big wins, but with the Falcons next week, it will be a significantly tougher task should they lose tonight. LTU cannot make finals, but can certainly ruin some finals hopes with a victory in the penultimate round.

Liam Killey has been a revelation in the goal shooter position for LTU, and often holds the key to victory for the side. After an extra long break – NNE Vipers had the bye in Round 11 – Dan King will return for the first time post-Christmas and likely get first crack on Killey. Jessica Maher and Charlotte Davies will support him in the defensive half, while Sam Dugan and Ben Bruitzman will be keys to setting up the consistent Bridget Ryan in goal shooter. Andrew Burgess and Charlotte Crook will be the key defensive posts for LTU, while Jessica Black and John Tran have big jobs in the match.

In the other clashes, the unbeaten Parkville Panthers can dash the finals hopes of Melbourne Quakes, who sit 5-5 after 10 matches, The Panthers are surging towards going one better than in 2022/23, while reigning premiers Geelong is tipped to have a big win over the winless Eastside Sonics on the next court. In the other contest, Ariels will play their last match of the season with a bye in the final round, while Valley Wolves need a couple of wins in the last fortnight for a chance to sneak into fourth spot on the ladder.


Melbourne Quakes vs. Parkville Panthers – Court 1 @ 9:40pm
Eastside Sonics vs. Geelong – Court 2 @ 9:40pm
Ariels vs. Valley Wolves – Court 6 @ 9:40pm
NNE Vipers vs. LTU – Court 7 @ 9:40pm

The M-League Juniors have a later slot in the penultimate round, with a top two battle between St Therese and WDNA on Court 9 at 8:20pm the one to watch. Peninsula Waves face last placed Darebin on Court 8 in another fascinating battle. The 14 and Under grade is still at the regular 7pm timeslot, with St Therese coming off a rare loss to Melbourne Up & Comers, and will be hungry to topple WDNA on Court 1. If they can do that, then the Up & Comers can snatch second spot with a victory over TBC on Court 2.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments