Our own Geelong Cougars senior netball side has made it’s way through to the Victorian Netball League Grand Final, defeating the City West Falcons by just two goals in a thrilling extra-time period to make their way through to the big dance. Newtown & Chilwell star Julia Woolley (33/37) and South Barwon goal shooter Ruby Horton (28/33) lead the charge. The following report is with thanks to the Netball Victoria website. You can view the full article here.
MAJOR SEMI FINAL – City West Falcons (65) def by Geelong Cougars (67)
It was a show-stopping Semi Final match between Falcons and Geelong that saw the two take their rivalry to extra time, only for Geelong to shake everyone’s expectations and beat Falcons to secure their Grand Final position.
From the first centre, the crowd and everyone watching this match knew it would be heated and come down to the very end. While City West took the first centre, it was Geelong who shot the first goal, setting the tone for the rest of the match. The player match ups on court were what dreams are made of, Goal Attack Julia Wooley from Geelong against 2019 ANL Captain Jacqui Newton, and Magpies training partner Mel Bragg on Falcon’s Maggie Lind.
A tight contest in the first quarter couldn’t split the two, the score 15-all at the end of the first break.
Despite Falcons’ goalers Jane Cook and Tahnysha Salanoa shooting at 100% accuracy in the second quarter, Geelong played an almost unstoppable quarter. Brook Allan and Jess Standfield were a force to be reckoned with in Geelong’s defence. Transitions and plays down the midcourt to Geelong’s attack third were lightning fast with Wooley, Kaitlyn Sheringham and Ruby Horton being to anticipate every pass and position themselves perfectly.
This finals ready play allowed Geelong to take an 8-goal advantage at half time. Making no position changes for the third quarter, Geelong held the lead at the third quarter by 6-goals despite precision goaling from Jane Cook and Molly Jovic coordinating passes with confidence in Falcons’ Centre.
Heading into the fourth quarter it looked as though Geelong had the win, that is until the true intensity we know from Falcons came into play. The ferocity at each goal end hit their peak, Falcons trying to secure every goal they could to make up the difference and Geelong trying to hold the lead they had worked to attain.
With 2-minutes left, Falcons were only one goal behind after shooting 5 goals in a row. As the seconds went, scores levelled. It went back and fourth until the very end until everyone’s eyes looked at the scores as the siren went… a draw at 56-all.
It was disbelief for the crowd but for the players, they knew this meant extra time.
As the battle continued, the speed of the ball was almost to fast to see. At the end of the first half of extra time, Geelong were ahead by one goal. Just under a minute to go in the second half, Geelong were still up by one goal but Falcons had the centre to take it into another lot of extra time. Falcons passed the ball to the circle edge where Salanoa held position. As she tried to bounce pass it to Maggie Lind, Cougars intercepted the ball to take it down to Ruby Horton who scored the final goal on the final second to secure a Grand Final position.