It was an overtime thriller as we collected a narrow three goal win over GIANTS Netball at Ken Rosewall Arena (66-63).
Level at 60 goals apiece at the end of the fourth quarter, the match entered unchartered territory for the 2022 season – overtime - with the composure of both Liz Watson (46 goal assists) and Mwai Kumwenda (50/50) steering the ship to victory.
It was a scrappy start to the game with uncharacteristic turnovers marring the opening minutes of the first term. Defensively Jo Weston, Emily Mannix and Kate Eddy found their groove, reeling in some big intercepts and rebounds but it was the accuracy of Kumwenda under the post that did the damage as we established a three-goal lead.
Our momentum carried into the second term with Kiera Austin adding to the scoreboard and dictating the play against April Brandley and Tilly McDonell. Amy Parmenter had no answers for Watson who appeared to have the ball on a string while Mannix made the most of her defensive gains on Jo Harten. The GIANTS culled the margin to five before we put the foot back down heading into half-time with a handy seven goal buffer.
It was goal for goal to start the third with GIANTS shooting duo Matisse Letherbarrow and Sophie Dwyer keeping Weston and Mannix on their toes. Kate Moloney got hands to ball credit to her tenacity as we pushed out to a 10-goal lead. But a flurry of super shots from the GIANTS cut the deficit to just four.
Austin nailed the first goal of the final quarter while Olivia Lewis made her way into the game in goal keeper. The GIANTS started to turn the tables as Letherbarrow and Dwyer pegged away at the margin and stole the lead. The intensity rose with goals becoming increasingly hard to come by in attack.
With scores all tied up at the final whistle, the match went into overtime. Some huge defensive plays from Weston and composure from Watson proved to be the winning formula as we snuck home with our seventh win of the season.
Head coach Simone McKinnis, was both relieved and pleased with the efforts of her side to get over the line in such intense circumstances.
"One of the things that impressed me in that five minutes of extra time was that we were quite composed, and we kept it simple. We were driving and playing our game well. I thought that was really pleasing to see and that sort of experience together as a team is important," she said.
It’s a quick turnaround to Round 10, the Vixens jetting off to Western Australia to take on the Fever at RAC Arena in four days’ time, on Tuesday 17 May.
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