With less than half the season remaining in the 2014 Queensland Champions Cup (QCC), it’s time to take stock of the season so far, and the finals contenders.
There is currently a three-way battle going on for the top spot, with SunCoast Lynx sitting in first place on 16 points (eight games, seven wins, one loss, and one bye) closely followed by Carina Leagues Club Tigers and Kedron Wavell Services Club Cougars.
After a great start to the season, the Lynx have made the most of their off-season recruiting spearhead by U19 Nationals MVP and star goal shooter Cara Koenen.
Their only defeat was at the hands of the Cougars by 12 goals in round three and Coach Jenny Brazel said her team is firing even though they face a tough battle at the back end of the season losing three star players to the Australian Netball League (ANL) during crucial games.
“We have been going pretty well but it will be interesting with ANL starting in four weeks and all three of my attack end, Steph Wood, Cara Koenen and Laura Scherian are in the Fusion team,” Brazel said.
“Our first real test will be against the Steelcats without them, and that will be a tough match but I have plenty of faith in the girls who will be stepping into those roles during the matches where QCC and ANL clash.”
“Dominique Scott will pull on the goal attack bib, she is a really good shooter and Kahn Renata will fill the goal shooter role and she is an ex-Australian school girl.
Brazel said while she has been extremely happy with her attack end she said her team has been burning up the court at both ends and have shown real guts coming off a tough game schedule.
“We just came off three games in seven days and we had to play Lions and Cougars and two other top four teams,” Brazel said.
“I was particularly happy with how our attack end has been playing, having Cara join us has given us that really big target and I think Steph Wood is playing some of the best netball I have seen her play.”
“Defensively I am lucky to have two tall timbers in Laura Clemesha and Emma Tickner but I still feel our error rate is a little bit high for my liking but it is all coming together,” Brazel said.
Hot on the heals of the in-form Lynx are the Carina Leagues Club Tigers and Kedron Wavell Services Club Cougars both sitting on 14 points after two losses each, with Tigers taking second position on goal percentage.
The Tigers losses have come at the hands of Cougars (by eight goals) and Lynx, while the Cougars losses have come from a one-goal loss to the fourth placed Brisbane West Lions, and Lynx (10 goals).
Cougars have the bye this weekend and then face a grudge match with the Lions the following weekend to settle the score in their two games against the Lions in season 2014.
Currently sitting on 10 points, the Lions, having split the season so far with four wins and four losses.
On the back of two recent losses, the Lions will travel to Townsville this weekend to take on under performing Magnetic North Steelcats who are hungry for their first win of the season with the support of their famous home crowd hoping to get them over the line.
Golden South Jaguars are sitting in fifth place on the ladder with eight points, just two points and a second bye above the Logan Wildcats (six points).
The Jaguars have a tough three rounds ahead with games against the top three teams and are looking to cause some upsets in the second half of the season.
The Logan Wildcats will head into the final five rounds with a renewed confidence after a closely fought 48-44 loss to the Cougars in round nine.
With one of the youngest rosters in the competition the Wildcats will be hunting for some wins, including a trip north to play the Steelcats in round 12.
Seventh place on the ladder is filled by the Magnetic North Steelcats, who are looking forward to three home games over the next five weeks.
Despite some great passages of play the Steelcats will be fighting hard to get some wins on the board before end of the season.
With the Australian Netball League (ANL) due to commence in July, twelve QCC players will get the chance to represent Queensland after being selected in the Fusion squad.
Due to clashes with ANL rounds, the semi-finals of the QCC competition will be played at 7pm, Saturday 9th August 2014, with two teams backing up the next day for the Preliminary Final – 10am, Sunday 10th August 2014.
The Grand Final will be an Ekka Day affair, due to be played at 6:30pm, Wednesday 13th August 2014. Make sure you get down to the Hibiscus Sports Complex during the finals for all of the action and make sure you mark all these dates in your diary!