Vic M-League 2019: Mixed Premier Division wrap – Round 11

ROUND 11 saw intercepts galore, with close matches and blowouts alike. NNE Vipers gave Pasifika Sharks a real run for their money, only going down by six goals (57-63) after leading by as much as six goals at half-time, before Sharks made the switch with Junior Levi down in goal keeper. The Melbourne City Blackhawks had a rough match, struggling to put goals on the board early before settling but to no avail against DDNA who put their foot down in a bid to enter the top four, beating the Blackhawks 70-36. Meanwhile, Parkville Panthers well and truly got the chocolates over Geelong Cougars, defeating them by a whopping 16 goals (60-44). Panthers had the upper hand early, taking a solid lead into the first change before posting an impressive win against a fellow flag contender and giving their percentage a considerable boost.

Ultimately the most game-changing match of the round took place between Valley Wolves and Eastside Sonics, with the Sonics getting one back over their Round 2 foe with a one-goal victory, 47-46. It was a tantalising and vocal contest, with the Sonics challenging the Wolves from the first whistle, creating a much tighter match than anticipated thanks to defensive pressure across the court. A dead-even first half saw the two sides match up well, unable to be split at the first or second change and sitting at 23 goals apiece at half time. Wolves tightened up in the third term, extending a lead to six goals but the Sonics did not give up, turning on the defensive pressure in the final minutes of the match to steal victory by the final whistle. The back and forth contest saw neither side find much momentum, unable to pile on multiple goals at a time before scores levelled once more. Defensively, both sides were well and truly on top of things, creating intercept opportunities both in the goal circle and down the centre corridor. Erin Jay put in an impressive effort teaming up with both Joshua Burns and Hayden Smith throughout, with the trio finding plenty of turnover ball and rebounding well against the height and aerial ability of Sonics’ Jack Carpenter and agility of Taylor Dykstra. At the other end it was a battle of physical and vocal proportion between James Story and Andrew Burgess, with the duo evenly matched and directing their respective sides down the court, while Nat Billings and Monique Nagle shared the load in goal attack well. The midcourt saw an interesting contest with impatience creating turnovers aplenty from both sides coming down the court. Samara Harris was explosive as ever for Sonics alongside Jesse Failla, while the Wolves switched up their midcourt a number of times, remaining relatively consistent down the court throughout despite changes to the lineup.

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