City West Falcons and Melbourne University Lightning played out another thriller in the Victorian Netball League championship division – and it was Lightning that again came out on top.
The rematch of last year’s grand final, won by the Lightning, was just as thrilling, with neither team able to gain a real advantage.
The Falcons led by two goals at quarter-time and one at the main break. The Lightning had the better of it in the third quarter, turning the deficit into a six-goal lead.
The Falcons fought back but fell short, losing 64-62 and registering their fourth loss of the season – two of those at the hands of the Lightning.
Jane Cook did a mountain of work in the goal circle for the Falcons, shooting 59 goals at 90 per cent. Goal attack Stephanie Puopolo made just three attempts on goal, hitting all three shots.
In all, the Falcons missed just seven attempts, but had 11 less shots than the Lightning.
Mid-courter Molly Jovic was named the Falcons’ best player, awarded the one vote behind the Lightning’s Gabrielle Sinclair and Danielle Stewart.
The votes move Stewart to second in the most valuable player race. Falcons defender Jacqui Newton sits four votes back from leader Lara Dunkley.
Jovic, who missed a couple of games with an ankle injury, is a further vote back.
Despite the loss, the Falcons remain fourth on the ladder, a game clear of Geelong Cougars, who also lost on Wednesday.
It was a mixed night for the other two Falcons’ teams.
The division 1 side had a strong 61-42 win, also against the Lightning. The Falcons led at every break.
Tharjini Sivalingan shot 48 goals from 50 attempts. Soli Ropati was awarded the three votes.
The under-19 side started well but couldn’t match it with the Lightning after quarter-time. The Falcons led by four goals at the first break, but could shoot only 19 goals for the rest of the match, losing 40-30. The Falcons have lost top spot, slipping behind Geelong Cougars.
All three Falcons sides face ACU Sovereigns on Wednesday night.