Victorian derby headlines latest round of ANL

VicANL1Melbourne will be the venue for the first intrastate showdown of the 2014 Australian Netball League season with the clash between the Victorian Fury and Victorian Flames headlining the Week 3 round of matches.

The Flames and Fury will meet in the final game of the round being played at the Waverley Netball Centre on Sunday afternoon that also features the 2012 champions Southern Force and the Netball NSW Blues.

Defending champions the Fury made the perfect start to their title defence last round, winning both matches over in Perth to stretch their winning streak to 14 games.

When the two sides met last season, it was the Fury who triumphed over the Flames by one goal 48-47 in a mid-week clash at Melbourne’s State Netball Hockey Centre.

The Flames split their opening round games in Perth, beating Territory Storm before going down to the Western Sting.

In their second season in the ANL, they will be looking to stay in touch with the top four by getting the points against the Force on Friday night and the Blues on Saturday evening before meeting their Victorian rivals at noon on Sunday.

The Flames lost their inaugural ANL match to the Force 53-48 last year but bounced back in the finals to defeat them 53-52 in the play-off for third and fourth.

_MCA5896LThe Force have only tasted victory once against the Fury in eight previous encounters – when they won 56-49 in Round 3 of the 2012 season – and will be eager to avenge last year’s heartbreaking semi-final defeat when they lost 55-50 in Adelaide after leading by as much as 14 goals in the second quarter.

The Force had the bye last round and will be keen to build on their unbeaten start to the season from Week 1 where they won both matches from the round played in Launceston.

The Blues are yet to beat the Fury in the ANL, having lost all six matches between the two sides while the Flames won the first encounter between the two sides last season.

The Blues and Force have split their six contests with three wins apiece, with the South Australian side triumphing in the past two matches.

Six sides have the bye this weekend.

Week Three Fixtures:

Victorian Flames v Southern Force
Friday 18 July, 5.00pm
Waverley Netball Centre, Melbourne

Victorian Fury v Netball NSW Blues
Friday 18 July, 7.00pm
Waverley Netball Centre, Melbourne

Victorian Flames v Netball NSW Blues
Saturday 19 July, 7.00pm
Waverley Netball Centre, Melbourne

Victorian Fury v Southern Force
Saturday 19 July, 8.30pm
Waverley Netball Centre, Melbourne

Southern Force v Netball NSW Blues
Sunday 20 July, 10.00am
Waverley Netball Centre, Melbourne

Victorian Fury v Victorian Flames
Sunday 20 July, 12.00pm
Waverley Netball Centre, Melbourne

Canberra Darters
Queensland Fusion
Tassie Spirit
Western Sting
Territory Storm
Netball NSW Waratahs