Melbourne Vixens clinched a nailbiting come-from-behind win against Queensland Firebirds at John Cain Arena (66-64) on Saturday night to reclaim top position on the ladder.
Down for most of the game, we managed to dig deep in the final term to overrun the Firebirds thanks to some huge defensive wins and some super shooting from Mwai Kumwenda.
Kiera Austin came out swinging in the opening minutes of the first quarter, dictating the play to create a two-goal lead. But momentum started to shift as the partnership between Donnell Wallam and Kim Ravaillion grew and the Firebirds crept out to a three-goal lead.
It was a hotly contested second quarter with Liv Lewis and Jo Weston working in overdrive to reduce the impact of Wallam. We reduced the margin to two but within a blink of an eye the Firebirds re-established a six-goal lead. We mixed it up in the midcourt with Kate Moloney moving to wing defence, Liz Watson to centre and Hannah Mundy entering the game in wing attack while Emily Mannix also made her way onto the court.
Austin and MJ started finding space inside the circle against Eboni Usoro-Brown and Ruby Bakewell-Doran reducing the margin to two. Watson fired up in attack as we nailed the first three goals of the term. The changes kept coming with Mundy moving to centre and Watson back to wing attack as we mounted a huge comeback to get within a goal.
Kumwenda nailed the leveller while Weston reeled in a huge defensive rebound down the other end of the court. With the clock ticking down, the intensity increased and we put the foot down in attack to forge ahead. A couple of late super shots from Wallam almost derailed our hard work, but we fought it out to collect our sixth win of the season.
In her first game as head coach Di Honey was impressed by the efforts of the squad.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was pressure city,” she said.
“It was a tough battle out there, but I think the girls did a great job. The last quarter was sensational and what we asked for.”
We will be on the road in Round 9 when we take on GIANTS Netball before heading to Perth for our Round 10 clash against West Coast Fever.