Tag: ben bruitzman

VIC M-League 2019: Men’s/Mixed Division 1 Grand Final wrap – Northern Titans and Fitzroy Phoenix prevail

PLENTY of action across two massive Division 1 matches saw Men’s Division 1’s Northern Titans go back to back and Mixed Division 1’s Fitzroy Phoenix win an elusive first premiership after coming close on multiple occasions. Both matches started close before leads extended, making for two massive grand finals to finish the 2019 season on the ultimate high.

Men’s Division 1

Northern Titans Men’s (44) defeated DDNA Teal (38)

Despite a strong first quarter effort DDNA were unable to hold on for victory, with Northern Titans proving why they were at the top of the ladder with a dominant defensive effort through the second and third and ultimately holding onto victory despite DDNA’s late fight back. It was a slow start to both sides with only one goal scored apiece at the three minute mark of the match, a testament to the defensive effort and intensity from every player on court doing their bit to create turnover ball. DDNA kept it consistent across the court for the full four quarters, with each combination working hard to ensure the ball was shared around well. Thomas Fisher and Brent Pace put in the hard yards in the goal circle sharing the load but it was the defensive effort from Titans’ grand final MVP, Ben Bruitzman rotating through goal defence and centre that really drew attention, winning valuable ball back and forcing turnovers again and again. Titans’ Andrew Baker in goal shooter found plenty of the ball, nailing 31 goals and providing a solid option in the circle while Matthew Le Gassick was a handy option on circle edge able to find targets in the goals. The feisty match was vocal with both teams putting their voices to the test, propelling their side on and directing play across the court. While DDNA ended the match with a goal on the siren it was not enough, with Titans just too strong in the second half for their second grand final victory in two seasons.

GF MVP: Ben Bruitzman (Northern Titans)

Season MVP: Ben Bruitzman (12 votes)
Runner up: Ronan Pring (11 votes)
Equal third: Trent Morrison, David Capron (10 votes)
Equal fifth: James Sutton, Cameron Hughes (9 votes)

Mixed Division 1

Fitzroy Phoenix (44) defeated Ariels Mixed (33)

A massive first quarter effort from the Ariels saw the Fitzroy Phoenix have flashbacks of their 2018 grand final choke, seeing the ladder leaders lift their game from then on and running away with an 11 goal victory in what was a fairly close affair early. Both sides had some unsteady moments speeding down the court, making uncharacteristic errors and creating turnovers with the ball moving down the court quicker than necessary in the heat of the pressure. Grand final MVP, Andrew Lewis was the key cog in goal shooter, putting up a whopping 40 goals thanks to the immense feeds from fellow goaler, Shae Gee and rotating midcourters, Kate Patterson, Colin Croft and Joss Roche who found circle edge again and again despite the best efforts of the Ariels, with James Hertan in goal keeper having the tough job of denying easy entry into Lewis. While the Ariels shared the load better to post it was to no avail, though Kurt Thompson provided a solid target to finish with 27 goals to his name. Through the midcourt, Lorna Clark worked well to drive across the court with speed and game smarts to boot, sharing the centre-court effort with Anthony Williams who was equally as valuable, while Renae Pickering was consistent through wing defence with solid hands over pressure on circle edge and Kirsty Clark gave every inch back when near the ball. While Ariels were impressive early it was ultimately the Phoenix who wanted it more, prevailing and finally getting their hands on the gold.

GF MVP: Andrew Lewis (Fitzroy Phoenix)

Season MVP: Andrew Lewis (17 votes)
Female season MVP: Kate Patterson (10 votes)
Runner up: James Sutton (16 votes)
Third: Zac Nathan (14 votes)
Equal fourth: Teah Edelmaer, Kate Patterson, John Tran (10 votes)

VIC M-League 2019: Mixed Premier Division wrap – Round 14

THE final round of Mixed Premier Division finished with a bang, with a few close encounters and one forfeit throwing a real spanner in the works as we head into finals. Parkville Panthers had a final round bye to finish the season undefeated and head into finals on fresh legs next week, while second-ranked Geelong Cougars well and truly ran down St Therese with a 35 goal victory (73-38). Safe in third with no chance of moving down the ladder, Pasifika Sharks handed Eastside Sonics a forfeit, and in doing so, all but denied the Sonics a chance of leaping into the top four off the back of a Valley Wolves loss. Fortunately, the Valley Wolves came away with a seven-goal victory over Melbourne City Blackhawks (54-47) to lock in a semi-finals spot next week and deny the Sonics an outside chance of playing finals.

A final round loss to NNE Vipers denied DDNA an opportunity to leapfrog into the top four, going down by two goals (47-49) with the Vipers turning the tables on their Round 5 loss. It was a second quarter blitz from the Vipers that saw them run away with their fifth victory for the season, shooting 17 goals to nine to jump ahead after a slow first quarter and lead by five goals at the main break. While the second half was relatively even with both sides finding patches of momentum, a dominant third quarter from DDNA’s Josh Smith and Ellen Hurley turned the tides once more, with the pair leading from the front to put DDNA ahead by just one goal heading into the final term. A change-up in attack for the Vipers in the last quarter seemed to spark the side into action once more, with Jessica Lallo donning the goal attack bib after playing out majority of the match in wing attack, while Alex Green took a chance in goal shooter. Combining for 14 goals in the final quarter, the pair added something different to the likes of Michael Dower and Bridget Ryan who held down the fort for the first three quarters, shooting 19 and 16 goals respectively before handing over the reins. Similarly, Christian White joined the fray for the first time in the final quarter in at goal shooter, shooting 11 straight goals but unfortunately not enough against a fighting Vipers side. Defensively, both sides kept the ball moving through the middle third, denying ease of access to the goal circle and picking up loose ball credit to an impressive read of play. For DDNA, Steffi Poort and Simone Turner switched it up rotating through wing defence and goal keeper, while Daniel King was prolific in goal defence especially in the third quarter, picking off feeds into the circle. Vipers’ Ben Bruitzman put in the hard yards through the midcourt, playing out majority of the match in centre, working well with Dionne Douglas, Sam Dugan and Jessica Maher to speed the ball out of defence and back through to attack.

VIC M-League 2019: Mixed Premier Division preview – Round 14

ROUND 14 marks the final round for the season as well as the Movember Round at Victorian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association, making this week’s matches important for more than just finals contention. While this round will see the top side have a bye to end their season and ultimately going undefeated, there is still plenty to play for for at least two sides this round, with both Valley Wolves and DDNA vying for the last spot in the top four.

Vic M-League 2019
Mixed Premier Division – Round 14
7:00, 9:40pm

With Parkville Panthers crowned minor premiers after a dominant season, Geelong Cougars will look to put themselves in a good position for finals when they take on cellar dwellers, St Therese. The Cougars could ultimately go two ways this week, either go out with a bang and a big finish against a low side on the ladder, or rest players who will be playing multiple finals over the coming weeks. Pasifika Sharks are in a similar position for their clash with Eastside Sonics. The Sharks do not necessarily need a win this week, but one would go a long way in a bid for some consistency heading into finals. Valley Wolves take on Melbourne City Blackhawks, a side they defeated with ease last time they met, though the Blackhawks will know what is at stake in this matchup making it an interesting battle.

NNE Vipers will look to push DDNA to the final whistle this week as another side in the position to deny a finals contender a position in the top four. DDNA only won by five goals last time these two sides met, making for a massive contest that will come down to turnover rate and accuracy to post. Vipers have a number of key players, namely through attack with no shortage of shooting options to rotate in the goal circle. With Michael Dower, Bridget Ryan, Jessica Lallo and Alex Green all able to impact the scoreboard when required, DDNA will have a lot on their plate limiting the versatility and speed in the circle. DDNA’s Christian White was prolific the last time these two sides met but has sat out the past two rounds, making this a big match for the likes of Ellen Hurley and the numerous options DDNA could bring into the circle in White’s potential absence, with Josh Smith and Jake Novak two who have played a role in attack in recent weeks. The versatility of Novak will be key, with the circle player able to have an impact both in goal shooter and goal keeper, making for an interesting contest regardless of who he lines up against. Steffi Poort and Ash Melinkas are another two players who can have plenty of impact for DDNA, while the midcourt connection of Vipers’ Ben Bruitzman and Chloe Coffin has been solid all season making for a massive final round of the season.

To donate to VMMNA’s Movember Challenge: https://au.movember.com/mospace/network/view/id/50594

Vic M-League 2019: Mixed Premier Division preview – Round 8

THE halfway point of the Mixed Premier Division season has well and truly hit, with plenty left in the tank for most teams and still one side sitting undefeated. Expect another week of big ladder movement, with a number of ladder-changing results likely given the closeness of the table.

Vic M-League 2019
Mixed Premier Division – Round 8

While a match between top and bottom will ultimately be the kicker this week with St Therese set to take on Parkville Panthers, Melbourne City Blackhawks will be tested against Pasifika Sharks with the two sides battling it out for a position in the top four, separated only by percentage. Meanwhile, DDNA will take on Eastside Sonics and Geelong Cougars have the bye.

Valley Wolves will look to continue their strong form this week against NNE Vipers despite a loss to Geelong last week, getting close to the Cougars but unable to capitalise when it counted. A win this week will bring the Wolves one step further toward locking in their top four position, still sitting two wins behind Parkville and Geelong. For the Vipers, an inaugural win last round over St Therese will go a long way for confidence in the side, which has built up gradually and had three close matches – all within a five goal margin – prior to their victory last round. The speed of Hannah Kuhar and versatility of Nat Billings will be big in this match, with Kuhar able to rotate through the midcourt while Billings is a sharpshooter with the proven ability to move into wing attack and provide a solid feeding option on circle edge. Meanwhile, the defensive combination of Erin Jay and Alastair Punshon has proved key this season, with Punshon yet another who can go between positions in goal keeper and shooter. For the Vipers, Michael Dower is a force in the goal circle, able to turn and shoot while the midcourt pairing of Ben Bruitzman and Chloe Coffin has been solid this season so will look to continue that form against the Wolves.

VIC M-League 2019: Mixed Premier Division preview – Round 7

ROUND 7 of Mixed Premier League is set to be a big one, with two sides more than ruling the competition as we reach the halfway point of the season. This round will see a number of big matches with the top four battling it out once more while DDNA have the bye.

VIC M-League 2019
Mixed Premier Division – Round 7
8:20, 9:40

With plenty of intensity likely this week, the top four will potentially be given a shakeup with Geelong Cougars taking on Valley Wolves – with both sides sitting on only one loss for the season so far, while Parkville Panthers will take on Pasifika Sharks. Parkville are yet to lose a game this season but will be put under the pump against the Sharks, with the side unlucky with absences for vital matches seeing them go down to teams lower on the ladder. Meanwhile, Eastside Sonics will look to start making their way into the top four, with a win against Melbourne City Blackhawks this week giving the Sonics an opportunity to edge closer to Sharks in fourth.

One of the two bottom teams in St Therese and NNE Vipers will presumably see their first win of the season this round when they do battle. While both sides have been unlucky this season, Vipers are unfortunate to sit in ninth with a better percentage but having played all six matches this season while St Therese gained points for the bye back in Round 2. Both teams have plenty of talent but have not really been able to put it into practice yet, making this match an interesting one with plenty on the line while averaging a similar amount of goals scored per game. Through the midcourt will be a key battle, with Chloe Coffin and Ben Bruitzman taking on the likes of Prue Stanley and Ailish McCormack. Saints also have the added benefit of Victorian Netball League (VNL) midcourter Shannon Blackman who can inject plenty of speed into the side when required. While Saints sit higher on the ladder, this match could see Vipers well and truly take over the match credit to teamwork and consistency week in and week out on court. Saints have had a mix of players come through the ranks and while this means an element of surprise can come into play, it could also allow the Vipers to take advantage of their connections across the court.

VIC M-League 2019: Mixed Premier Division preview – Round 5

ROUND 5 of Mixed Premier Division is set to be an interesting one, with ladder leaders Parkville Panthers having the bye and giving Eastside Sonics in second an opportunity to close the gap. While the Sonics do not have the percentage to overtake Panthers, a win this week would go far for ensuring they stay in the top four.

VIC M-League 2019
Mixed Premier Division – Round 5
7:00pm, 9:40pm

With big matchups on every court, an interesting battle will see NNE Vipers in ninth take on DDNA in seventh. DDNA was dealt a big loss last week to drop from fifth, meaning the side will be ready to take on the Vipers and hopefully head back up the ladder with another victory. For Vipers, they came agonisingly close to a win last week, only going down by two goals to Melbourne City Blackhawks so will well and truly be in this match with plenty to play for. Michael Dower and Bridget Ryan were solid as ever at the post for the Vipers, finding plenty of ball and putting it to good use while Ben Bruitzman showcased his versatility rotating through the midcourt and using his clean hands to find Dower and Ryan in the ring, meaning that the key for DDNA this week will be to limit ball access around the circle with both players able to turn and shoot. For Vipers, the goal will be to deny easy ball into the goal circle with the height and strength of Christian White almost unstoppable at the post, especially with the feeding abilities of Ellen Hurley, Sam Mackerras and David Butler both in and outside the circle. In other games, Melbourne City Blackhawks take on Valley Wolves for a spot in the top four, while Geelong take on St Therese and Pasifika Sharks hope to regain some form when they take on Eastside Sonics in second.