The Vixens recorded their second loss of the season on Saturday night, going down to Adelaide Thunderbirds (61-50) at Netball SA Stadium on Kaurna Land.
In Kiera Austin’s 50th national league match, the Vixens fought hard in a willing contest against one of the toughest defensive lineups in the competition but couldn’t get over the line.
Q1 | Thunderbirds 13 - 13 Vixens
The Vixens flew out of the blocks, building an early lead through strong defensive pressure in the midcourt. Liz Watson (30 feeds, 16 goal assists) was in everything early under intense pressure from Latanya Wilson and Tilly Garrett. Kate Eddy’s signature hands over was holding up the feeds into Eleanor Cardwell, and MJ Kumwenda (25/29) was strong to post at the other end, before the hosts fought their way back into it during the super shot period.
Q2 | Thunderbirds 29 - 24 Vixens
Thunderbirds came out with renewed intent after the break, building the intensity in defence and forcing a fight for every ball - neither side was giving an inch, with collisions aplenty all over the court. Kate Moloney (23 feeds, 10 goal assists) consistently found space at circle edge thanks to her clean, strong drives; Austin often finding her with slick passing from the transverse line. Tight defence from Jo Weston and Emily Mannix forced turnovers, Mannix pulling out a couple of intercepts at key moments, but with a few costly errors of our own in attack the Thunderbirds pulled ahead by five.
Q3 | Thunderbirds 44 - 38 Vixens
Neither side made changes out of the main break, opting to let their starting lineups play it out. Our midcourt steadied and we ate into the margin off the back of close marking in defence and patience in attack. Eddy and Weston (5 deflections apiece) got hands to everything and delivered the gains we needed to bring the margin back within reach. Composed shooting from Austin and Kumwenda kept us in touch, but suffocating defence from Shamera Sterling, Wilson and Garrett saw the hosts pull away to lead by six at the final break.
Q4 | Thunderbirds 61 - 50 Vixens
Hannah Mundy (6 feeds, 1 intercept, 1 deflection) came on for the final term, her sheer strength and direct drives having an impact early. Eddy was in workhorse mode, her relentless pressure and work on transition delivering opportunities our attack struggled to capitalise on. The Thunderbirds pushed the lead out, and while we never gave up, we’d left ourselves too much to do - a couple of late super shots from Kumwenda and Liv Lewis’s hops in defence weren’t enough to keep us in it.
The Vixens are on the road again in Round 6, heading to Sydney next Saturday 22 April to take on the Swifts at Ken Rosewall Arena on the lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.
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