The Melbourne Vixens have reclaimed top position on the Suncorp Super Netball ladder after a convincing 71-50 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Round 13 of Suncorp Super Netball.
It was goal-for-goal early in the match, with both teams’ attacks on fire in a high-scoring 17-16 goal quarter.
The Vixens won the first turnover of the match; a deflection from Captain Kate Moloney resulting in a goal.
Momentum continued in the Vixens favour until a late rally from the Thunderbirds saw them draw the margin back to just one at the first break.
Moments of brilliance from the Vixens throughout the court during the second term saw the margin increase.
Moloney was again brilliant in defence, as were Emily Mannix and Jo Weston, who begun to create turnovers in the defensive circle.
Up the other end of the court, Mwai Kumwenda thrilled the crowd with her aerial skills and lay-ups.
As the pressure from the home team increased, so did the margin, with the lead out to 10 goals with six minutes left in the half.
The Thunderbirds again were able to rally, with the margin standing at five goals at the main break, 34-29.
The gap again reached and surpassed 10 goals during the third quarter, with Liz Watson’s ability to feed into the circle proving challenging for the Thunderbirds defence, whilst Mannix was menacing at the other end of the court.
A 12-goal lead going into the final quarter was converted into a 21-goal margin at the end of the match, with the Vixens attack connecting seamlessly during the fourth quarter.
Melbourne Vixens Head Coach, Simone McKinnis said the match was hard work.
“The first half was pretty tight really, and what we have to do is be able to grind out those wins,” McKinnis said.
“We’ve just got to keep persisting and keep doing what we do, because the opening will come, so I was pleased that they did that.”
McKinnis said she was pleased with the way the team responded to last week’s loss.
“We talked about forgetting everything else, forget finals, forget ladders, forget percentages, it’s irrelevant. It’s just about turning up and playing and finishing out the rounds the way that we started, and that was just going out there together and playing out best.”
Mannix was a star for the Vixens, finishing the match with 10 gains, seven intercepts, seven deflections and three rebounds, earning her the Nissan Most Valuable Player award.
Kumwenda also impressed, shooting a season-high 48 goals for the game.
The Vixens now turn their sights to the West Coast Fever for the final round of Super Netball before finals.
Vixens shooting statistics
Mwai Kumwenda 48/53 (91%)
Tegan Philip 23/31 (74%)
Thunderbirds shooting statistics
Erin Bell 26/29 (90%)
Sasha Glasgow 16/19 (84%)
Karyn Bailey 8/11 (73%)