The Vixens have come off second best against GIANTS Netball in their last home and away game, going down by three goals at Ken Rosewall Arena.
Q1 | GIANTS 16 - 17 Vixens
The Vixens were clinical to start, keeping their connections sharp from centre pass to circle edge. Liz Watson (25 goal assists, 42 feeds) shot out of the blocks to start the quarter, snatching an intercept after a rejection from the retiring April Brandley looked to swing momentum the GIANTS’ way. MJ Kumwenda (42 goals) owned the space under the post, outmuscling Tilly McDonell while Kiera Austin (2 super shots, 90% accuracy) moved out front to open up space in the circle. Jo Weston (5 gains, 4 rebounds) and Emily Mannix (7 gains, 4 intercepts) combined well to force Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer to shoot from range, with Jo quickly collecting two defensive rebounds and a deflection. A super shot each from Jo and Sophie brought the GIANTS back into the mix, but Vixens kept the lead at quarter time.
Q2 | GIANTS 29 - 34 Vixens
Each side struggled with turnovers in the second term, with the first three centre passes converted by the opposition. Em began to find her feet with a handy intercept, while MJ stood tall at the other end of the court, shooting at 96% accuracy for the first half. Kate Eddy (2 deflections, 1 pick up) put her stamp on the quarter with a fantastic intercept at circle edge, snatching the ball away from a waiting Maddie Hay. Matisse Letherbarrow was brought on in goal shooter for the GIANTS, but the defensive pressure from Em and Jo was too strong for her to make an impact, converting just one of her five super shot attempts. Kate Moloney (9 goal assists) worked her magic in centre, keeping her balance on the sideline to keep the ball in play from the very edge of the court. Holding their nerve in a fast-paced Power Five, the Vixens extended their lead to five goals at the major break.
Q3 | GIANTS 46 - 50 Vixens
Shuffling positions coming into the third quarter, Hannah Mundy (4 feeds) took to the court in wing attack, with Liz and Kate moving to centre and wing defence respectively and Keddy replacing Jo at goal defence. An early intercept from Em saw the Vixens add another three goals to their lead, but the GIANTS quickly settled to bring the margin back to five goals. Debutant Erin O’Brien looked to make life hard for MJ but the Vixens shooter wasn’t deterred, keeping her cool under the post and creating space with incredible footwork. Another intercept from Em gave the GIANTS fans some deja vu; she and Kate looking to limit the options in the white arc as the siren sounded to begin the Power Five. Jo returned to court in wing defence, while Liv Lewis (2 deflections) quickly made her presence known in goal keeper, also marking her 50th national league game. A late flurry of goals from the GIANTS saw momentum swing back to the home side, but a super shot from Kip settled the visitors with two minutes left to play.
Q4 | GIANTS 60 - 57 Vixens
Another shuffle from the Vixens saw Em come into goal defence, with Kate returning to wing defence and Liz moving to centre. A fast start from the team in navy saw them score the first two goals, but the GIANTS were quick to repay the favour. The home team made up the deficit, reducing the margin to just a single goal with ten minutes left to play. With the pressure piling on, Em stood tall, taking a crucial rebound to send the ball back to the Vixens’ attack end and MJ consolidated the opportunity. With seven minutes left to play, Em moved back to goal keeper while Jo returned as goal defence. The GIANTS stayed hot on the Vixens heels, with every pass a crucial moment as the clock ticked down. Levelling the scores with five minutes left in the match, Jo and Em both snatched crucial rebounds to hand the Vixens back the lead. Despite the incredible defensive effort, a super shot from each of the GIANTS’ goalers sealed a late win for the home side.
The Super Netball finals series begins and the Vixens head west for the minor semi final. On Sunday 25 June at 4pm AEST, we take on last year’s champions West Coast Fever at RAC Arena on the Lands of the Whadjuk Noongar People.
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