Lightning ends Vixens’ finals hopes

7 months ago

The Melbourne Vixens have missed out on making the 2018 finals series, going down to the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Melbourne today, 51-56.

The Melbourne Vixens have missed out on making the 2018 finals series, going down to the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Melbourne today, 51-56.

It was a match with everything riding on it – just one of the two teams would make finals, with the Lightning in the box seat.

Faced with a difficult task against the reigning premiers, the Vixens would have to win the match and all four bonus points or win the match by more than five goals with three bonus points to make the finals series. A win alone would not do it.

Adding to the daunting task was the absence of star shooter, Mwai Kumwenda, who ruptured her ACL in last weekend’s match against the West Coast Fever.

Adding experienced goaler, Kim Commane and Australian Netball League MVP Rahni Samason to the list, the Vixens were ready to fight for their spot in the finals.

And fight they did, taking it to the Lightning in the first quarter and claiming the first bonus point of the match.

Commane, who earned herself the starting Goal Shooter spot on court, being the highest scorer from both teams in the opening quarter.

Vixens head coach Simone McKinnis was impressed with Commane who was selected in the team only two days earlier.

'We only had a week to re-jig, but Kim’s played with us before and I think she did a really great job out there today for us,' said McKinnis.

A costly second quarter performance saw the Vixens lose their first bonus point for the match, meaning they had to win the remaining two quarters to remain in the hunt.

The Vixens started the second half slowly, with the Lightning scoring five unanswered goals. A last effort to win the quarter and keep the finals hopes alive reduced the quarter margin to three, but it wasn’t enough to claim the bonus point, knocking the Vixens out of finals contention.

The team was determined to finish the season on a high and take the win. They got to as close as two goals, but were overran by the Lightning, who took the win by five goals.

A spirited Liz Watson impressed, earning her yet another Nissan Most Valuable Player award. The Wing Attack dominated the goal circle, with 27 goal assists, and was also handy in defence, applying the pressure throughout the centre third.

Celebrate the Melbourne Vixens 2018 season at the Sharelle McMahon Medal on Friday 31 August. Get your tickets now.

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