Monday, 3 June 2013

Round 13 Preview: MUC v UB Ballarat Pride

Monash University Central v UB Ballarat Pride
State Netball & Hockey Centre, Court 1
Championship (7pm); Division 1 (8.20pm); Under 19s (9.40pm)

This Round 13 fixture poses three very winnable games for all three Monash teams this coming Wednesday night.

Championship defender Georgie Davenport will be looking
to cash in on her recently scintillating performances
against UB Ballarat Pride tomorrow night.

And following three losses in all age groups for Monash against Hume rivals, the City West Falcons, there will be ascent of avengement in the air on Court 1 at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.

LADDER: Central 5th (7-5, 115%); Pride 9th (1-1-10, 58.7%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LWWWL; Pride LLLLL
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 5 (April 3, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 70 def. Pride 37

Despite a disappointing loss last week to arch-nemesis the Falcons, Monash will have a world of confidence coming into this clash with Ballarat.

Winless since Round 2, the Pride are lagging in second-last position on the Devine VNL ladder and will be desperate to pull off an upset win as the season works its way into its last third.

It’s not all good news for Monash who will still be without mid-court duo Tegan Ashmore and Lauren Tscharke. Concerns over Sarah Main’s fitness remain after playing just two full games in the past five weeks.

Conversion is a further issue for Central, converting at just 66% last Wednesday. Coach Leesa Maxfield though is confident of things coming together again.

LADDER: Central 4th (7-1-4, 110.4%); Pride 10th (1-11, 59.1%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central WWLWL; Pride LLWLL
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 5 (April 3, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre;
Central 52 def. Pride 24

Like their Championship colleagues, the Monash Division 1 girls will be entering into Wednesday night’s encounter with the view of winning, and winning big.

The Pride are wallowing at the bottom of the ladder, yet have sighted in improvement since their Round 10 (and only) win over VU Western Lightning.

It was the defensive pressure of City West that undoubtedly put Monash on the back foot last week, with coach Jacqui Hansen pointing towards the Falcons’ press-like defence “intimidating” her side.

On a positive note, goalers Shae Gee, Gabrielle Henderson and Tayla Shannon are in great form and the first-half performance of centres Shai Skinner and Michelle Andrews will give them great confidence of putting up a big score on Wednesday night.

Coach Hansen said that given the ladder position, Ballarat wouldn’t be taken lightly and the first focus would be putting the result to bed early.

“It does give us an opportunity do a few things, but the initial focus has to be winning the game first,” Hansen said.

“We’ll be looking to rest a few girls’ bodies, but at the same time, try and implement game structures with a look toward the rest of the season.”

LADDER: Central 8th (3-9, 87.1%); Pride 5th (4-2-6, 89.9%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LLWLL; Pride DLWDL
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 5 (April 3, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 44 def. by Pride 47

In a tough back stretch of season 2013 and from a results point of view, there hasn’t been a lot to cheer about for the young Monash side.

Although facing the fifth-placed UB Ballarat Pride – who have had some massive consistency issues – there’s a lot to be intrigued about for the Wednesday contest.

An outstanding second-half effort that saw Monash outscore the top-of-the-table City West Falcons by 2 goals will give the young side great confidence of pulling off a possible win.

Goalers Rhys Carter-Coleman and Natalie Billings are in great shooting form, while coach Robynn Pym said that the switch of ends Ramayer Gourley – from attack to defence – had been pivotal in the team’s overall improvement.

“I’m excited by how hard she (Gourley) and the girls have been working and their constant level of improvement,” Pym said.

“Our focus isn’t totally result-focused, I just want us to keep hitting our goals in terms of our structures and style of play.”

Under 19s: Improved Monash push high-flying Falcons

It was a David and Goliath match-up that didn’t quite go the way of the Biblical plotline, with City West overcoming Monash by 13 goals last Wednesday night at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

Yet it didn’t stop Central giving the Falcons an almighty second-half scare in a much-improved performance for the young MUC side.

The match seemed headed for the way it was predicted when the Falcons piled on 15 and 13 goals in their opening two quarters to lead by 13 goals at half time.

Yet with the score line set to blow out at 28-15, Monash played some inspired netball as Monash outscored their opponents 12-9 in the third quarter.

Some inspired defensive work from Alice Ditchfield and rejunvenated Goal Defence Ramayer Gourley.

Gourley’s move to defence was an proved a superb move from coach Robynn Pym in initially disrupting, then shutting down the Falcon’s goalers shooting

Tayla Kearns and Jamie Collins were excellent through the mid-court; their passing display above and beyond the displays of previous weeks.

Add to that, some inspired shooting from MUC goalers Rhys Carter-Coleman (17 from 23) and Natalie Billings (20 from 25) had City West in some nervous areas as Monash drew within six of the lead.

Only some classy finishing from the Falcons in junk time gave some flattery to the margin against a Monash side that conceded -3 goals after quarter time.

Coach Pym told said she was pleasantly surprised by how her young side responded after quarter time.

“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a close match result wise, more just on how we executed our own game,” Pym said.

“To only drop another 3 goals from the first break, it was really pleasing.

“I’m really excited about how hard the girls are working and getting their rewards.

“Hopefully we can keep up this momentum and this level of improvement for the last six weeks of the season.”

Monash now face the fifth-placed UB Ballarat Pride in a very winnable game on Wednesday night; Court 1 at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.

FINAL SCORE: Monash University Central 39 def. by City West Falcons 52

MUC SCORERS: Natalie Billings 20 (80%); Rhys Carter-Coleman 17 (74%); Ramayer Gourley 2 (40%)

Division 1: Falcons outlast Monash

A bright start and third quarter push weren’t enough for Monash to overcome City West Falcons, as Central went down by nine goals on Wednesday night at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

With only one miss in their first seven attempts on goal, Central jumped out to an early 6-2 lead thanks to some energetic work in the mid-court from both Shai Skinner and Michelle Andrews.

In addition, the athleticism and accurate shooting of Gabrielle Henderson and Tayla Shannon were causing major headaches for an immobile Falcons defence.

However, City West made some immediate changes. As a result, the second quarter saw a completely different match take shape.

A 20-6 second quarter proved the difference as the Falcons combined for some excellent shooting and intimidating full court pressure, pounding Monash into submission all over the court.

Trailing by 11 goals at half time, many had written Monash off with the view that the Falcons would continue on their merry way.

No one told Monash, as they produced an 18-11 run in third quarter to trail by just four at the final change.

The opening goal to Shannon (14 from 17 attempts) cut the margin to three, but that would be as close to the Falcons as Monash would get.

City West netted seven of the last 10 goals of the match to exercise a nine-point winning margin, 56-47.

Shae Gee was prolific coming on in the second half and providing a strong avenue for scoring through the third quarter in partnership with Shannon.

Although struggling at times with the weight of possession the Falcons enjoyed in the second and fourth quarters, Ebony Fietz was again tireless in defence.

Speaking to post-match, coach Jacqui Hansen spoke of the match as a game of two halves.

“I thought our first and third quarters were really good,” Hansen said.

“We spoke about coming out strong and making a statement early, which we did and that was pleasing.

“Unfortunately, we got intimidated. They pressed defensively and we weren’t able to recognise and adapt quickly enough.”

Hansen said that there was a temptation to bring Gee on earlier, but was impressed with the way that the Henderson-Shannon combination worked.

“They were brilliant in the first quarter and gave us a strong platform.

“Unfortunately, they get out-muscled by the change of defenders in that second quarter.

“We ran out of legs too. I thought we competed really well given that it was a big challenge to get up from being 11 goals down.”

Monash now face the bottom-placed UB Ballarat Pride on Wednesday night on Court 1 at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.

FINAL SCORE: Monash University Central 47 def. by City West Falcons 56

MUC SCORERS: Shae Gee 22 (69%); Tayla Shannon 14 (83%); Gabrielle Henderson 11 (92%)

Championship: Falcons hand out lesson to ‘uncharacteristic’ Monash

A 16-6 opening quarter was the catalyst for a rampant City West Falcons to defeat Monash by 10 goals at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Wednesday night.

Falcons Goal Shooter Julia Knott shot a freakish 29 from 30 attempts as her Falcons teammates walked all over Central in the first term in 50-40 win.

Knott’s phenomenal shooting began from the 7 minute mark of the first quarter, not missing one of her next 21 shots she put up.

Missing Lauren Tscharke and Tegan Ashmore, Monash were sluggish out of the blocks missing their opening three shots on goal.

Combined with some way-off passing and lackadaisical full-court defence, Monash looked scratchy at best in the first half.

The in-form defensive duo that is Georgie Davenport and recently selected Victorian Fury member Helen Barclay were troubled with the Falcons direct play.

Davenport made her case for Monash’s best player as she consistently got a hand to many passes.

However the weight of possession the Falcons were able to enjoy proved far too much, as City West scored with relative ease.

The 10 to 11-goal buffer remained to the Falcons’ advantage throughout the match, as Monash struggled for any consistency in the frequency of their scoring.

Natalie Tommasini was a solid contributor playing a full match at Wing Defence and Centre, while Sarah Main, despite letting herself down in front of goals, was lively in her first full match for near-on six weeks.

Stacey Northey was efficient in front of goals, goaling 20 of her 26 attempts.

Speaking post-match to, Coach Leesa Maxfield labelled her side’s effort as “uncharacteristic” after the positive steps taken forward in the last month.

“We really let ourselves down in the first quarter,” Maxfield said.

“When you lose the first quarter by 10 goals and then lose the match by then goals…you don’t need to be a genius to work out where we went wrong.”

Maxfield pointed to her side’s slow starts as being a thorn in their side.

“We were simply too slow. We weren’t making our passes, we weren’t making our shots when we needed to and we didn’t apply any pressure.

“To their credit, they seem to rise to another level when we play them. They shot extremely well.”

Monash now face the ninth-placed UB Ballarat Pride on Wednesday night on Court 1 at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.

FINAL SCORE: Monash University Central 40 def. by City West Falcons 50

MUC SCORERS: Stacey Northey 20 (77%); Sarah Main 14 (67%); Stephanie Tyrell 6 (50%)