Our final hit outs against SSN teams for the 2023 pre-season are in the bank.
We took two wins from four shortened matches at the Team Girls Cup tournament at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre, on the lands of the Yugambeh people.
Game 1 – Vixens (47) def GIANTS (40)
We overcame a slow start and found our groove care of some turnovers forced by Em Mannix and Liv Lewis in defence. The GIANTS led by three at the first break care of a few super shots.
Hannah Mundy came on in the second and had an immediate impact, hitting circle edge while Kiera Austin’s composure and the relentless pressure of Kate Moloney and Kate Eddy through the midcourt helped us pull back the margin.
Mannix was on fire throughout, getting hands to everything while Mwai Kumwenda had a run out at GA. We built a lead before the GIANTS pegged it back with super shots, and some Lewis acrobatics prevented them drawing level just before the final break.
Our full court defence and patience in attack saw us push the margin out in the last term, claiming a seven-goal win.
Game 2 – Thunderbirds (34) def Vixens (33)
Our second match was low scoring and scrappy early, both sides producing turnovers and forcing errors in defence. Austin’s centre third defensive efforts and connection with a strong Kumwenda under the post were on display early, while Eddy and Mannix worked hard on transition.
The Thunderbirds led by two at the first break, before Liz Watson’s clean vision and slick feeds came to the fore in the second term. Both sides’ defensive units continued to disrupt momentum, more aerial work and anticipation from Lewis delivering plenty of ball. We pulled back a four-goal margin to lead by two at half time.
Rahni Samason had the ball on a string in the third term, sinking super shots and connecting smoothly with Austin’s quick feeds. Eddy and Moloney continued to pile on the defensive pressure, linking well with a dogged Mannix and Lewis who were getting hands to everything.
Mundy put in a strong performance, timing her drives and presenting as an option through tough defence from the Thunderbirds. We held a three-goal lead at the last break.
Austin’s composure and our full court defensive efforts weren’t enough to hold the lead in the final term, the Thunderbirds playing the ball around in the final minute and Lewis denied a crucial intercept. Adelaide took the lead in the dying seconds and claimed the win by a goal (34-33).
Game 3 – Vixens (40) def by Firebirds (43)
Kumwenda was an anchor under the post from the first whistle, holding strong as Mundy nailed some precision feeds into both goalers. Scores were tied at the first break as both sides struggled to break away.
Gabby Coffey paired well with Mannix, hustling hard to force turnovers in the Firebirds’ attack end. Austin found plenty of space with clear drives to the post as we built a narrow lead, but a super shot on the buzzer put the Firebirds back in front by a goal at half time.
Austin and Kumwenda swapped positions in the third and the change up had an immediate impact, along with Sharni Lambden and Eddy taking the court in WD and GD respectively. Eddy’s hands over pressure helped to turn the tide and we went into the final term with a one-goal lead.
Momentum swung back and forth for much of the last quarter, but we were unable to hang on to our lead despite the relentless effort in defence and a workhorse performance from Moloney in WD, the Firebirds running over the top to win by three.
Game 4 – Lightning (38) def by Vixens (39)
It was goal for goal early in our play off for bronze, before a few missed connections in our attack end saw Lightning pull away late care of a Steph Wood super shot on the buzzer sending them to the first break with a four-goal lead.
Lightning started to blow the margin out in the second but we pulled it back with steady work from Mundy through the midcourt, and the injection of Lewis in GK and Mannix out to GD to counter Lightning’s twin towers, Charlie Bell and Cara Koenen. A level term saw the same margin in place at the main break.
Kumwenda came on in the third to immediate impact, settling our attack end and delivering on a strong connection with Austin. Eddy into WD and Moloney into C also helped to steady the ship as we ate into the margin slowly, staying in touch and heading into the final term down by two.
Moloney was a powerhouse start to finish in the last quarter, combining with Austin’s defensive efforts to bring the scores back to level. While we had our chances, we struggled to capitalise until Austin and Kumwenda swapped positions from a time out which provided a shift.
A tense final minute saw tight defensive pressure from both sides, but we wound the clock down and Austin sunk the winner with seconds to spare to claim third for the tournament.
The SSN season kicks off on Saturday 18 March, and tickets for our 2023 home matches go on sale this week – don’t miss out! More info
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