The Melbourne Vixens have recorded their biggest win of 2017, defeating second-placed Queensland Firebirds, 66 – 50 in Round 5 of Suncorp Super Netball.
The 2016 Trans-Tasman league premiers struggled from the opening few minutes, with the Vixens’ defence rattling their usually formidable attacking line.
The lead stretched out to five goals early, however the game tightened heading towards the first break, with the Firebirds reducing the margin to just two goals with two minutes left.
However, a late rally from the Vixens saw them score four unanswered goals to lead by six at quarter-time, 17 – 11.
Both teams were guilty of turning the ball over throughout the second quarter, but it would be the Vixens who would increase their lead, scoring six goals in a row to lead by 10 at the main break, 33 – 23.
The Vixens continued their impressive ball movement in the second half, extending their lead to 52 – 33 with a 19-to-10-goal third quarter.
The Vixens slowed in the final quarter, with the Firebirds making a wealth of changes, however, the visitors were able to finish the quarter strongly, winning by 16 goals, 66 – 50.
Goal Keeper, Emily Mannix, had a tough outing against the Firebirds’ Romelda Aiken, however stood-up to the pressure, rattling Aiken early in the match and keeping her to 37 goals for the match, her lowest for the season.
At the other end of the court, Vixens shooters Tegan Philip and Mwai Kumwenda were firing, shooting at 94 per cent for the match, compared to the Firebirds who shot at 79 per cent.
Vixens Captain Kate Moloney said it was a good feeling to take the win.
“We’ve been improving over the last few weeks and to win like that is really great,” Moloney said.
“The last quarter was a little bit disappointing, but the first three quarters was a great effort by all the girls and I am really happy that we got over the line.”
Jo Weston was named Most Valuable Player after keeping her opponent, Gretel Tippett, to just eight goals for the match.
The Vixens will return to Melbourne to host Giants Netball at Hisense Arena next Saturday night.
Mwai Kumwenda 41/43 (95%)
Tegan Philip 25/27 (93%)
Romelda Aiken 37/46 (80%)
Gretel Tippett 8/11 (73%)
Abigail Latu-Meafou 5/6 (83%)