Victorian Netball League Preview: Preliminary Final

IN the standalone final of the week, City West Falcons take on Casey Demons in hope to secure a spot in the grand final. Both sides have shown that they know how to win and can do so convincingly making for an exciting battle. Prior to their loss in the semi-final, the Falcons had only lost one game and will be hoping to reclaim that ascendancy over the competition, however Casey has built some strong momentum.

In their inaugural season, the Casey Demons have made a name for themselves with their slick ball movement and ability to score quickly. The combination between Emma Ryde and ex-Australian Diamond goaler Erin Bell has grown rapidly throughout the season with the two creating good space in the circle and capitalising on their opportunities under the post. wing attack Kassidy Withers has been a key player for the Demons providing good link-up play and strong feeds into the shooters and must maintain that level in the prelim to surge her side ahead. Shannon Blackman could be an integral player for Casey given her versatility and defensive mindset through the midcourt enabling her to get hands to ball and regain possession for her side. Defensively the trio of Demi Woodlock, Karli Foster and Zali Mifsud must be on song from the first whistle to try and disrupt the Falcons attack end and win ball back. All three players have shown that they can stand up under pressure and do the little things well making for an exciting contest.

The City West Falcons have no shortage of firepower across the court with Jane Cook a key cog in attack given her ability to turn and shoot. Her strong commanding presence under the post makes an easy target for the Falcons feeders while her volume and accuracy can turn a game on its head. Defensively the Falcons will be hoping that Zoe Davies, Sarah Szczykulski and Jacqueline Newton win ball back and provide the attacking end with plenty of chances. Newton has plenty of experience and netball nous while Davies and Szczykulski have shown that they can be an imposing threat with their ability to get hands to ball and force turnovers. Through the midcourt the Falcons will be looking to Maggie Lind and Molly Jovic to stand up and take control if they are a chance to progress through to the grand final. Both Lind and Jovic offer plenty of skill and attacking flair through the midcourt and hit the circle edge with speed making them hard to stop when on song.

Both sides have plenty to play for but there are plenty of variables. If the Demons are without Ryde given her commitment to the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball league they could struggle while Tharjini Sivalingam may return for the Falcons.

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