Top-of-the-table clash against City perfect time for Vipers to stake claim

HUGE GAME: Jacky Lyden and her Vipers side take on Orange City in a top-of-the-table fixture. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HUGE GAME: Jacky Lyden and her Vipers side take on Orange City in a top-of-the-table fixture. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

If Vipers were ever going to stake their claim as a genuine chance to end Orange City’s incredible, nine-year-long Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup title run, this weekend’s round 12 clash with the Lions would be the perfect time to do it.

Thanks to an excellent win over Life Studio last weekend Vipers have moved up into second, four points adrift of the Lions.

A victory wouldn’t quite put Vipers on level pegging with the Lions but it would, crucially, prove that Orange City is beatable.

Although the Lions have shown tiny chinks in their armour at times this season, they’ve always been clinical enough to hold on for victories.

The last time the two sides met it was an absolute epic, the Lions prevailing by four goals, winning 50-46.

Although, the Lions have only improved since then.

In the six games since the last time the two sides met no side has come within 10 goals of Orange City.

The Lions have won all six games by no less than 13 goals, scored a phenomenal 364 goals and conceded just 232.

Vipers have scored 72 less goals than the Lions but, maybe tellingly, have conceded less, even including the one loss they’ve had from their last six starts.

They’ve conceded 201 goals –  31 less than Orange City.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this weekend’s clash pits the competition’s best attacking side against the best defensive unit, from 1.10pm at Sir Neville Howse Stadium.

The two Hawks sides also face off this weekend (2.30pm) while Orange City Newey’s Drive-Thru Cleaners take on Kinross (2.30pm) and the Life Studio sides play off in a big, inter-club derby (3.50pm).

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