Shooting Statistics Melbourne Vixens Mwai Kumwenda 33/38 (87%) Tegan Philip 22/26 (85%) Sunshine Coast Lightning Caitlin Bassett 44/47 (94%) Stephanie Wood 12/14 (86%)
The Melbourne Vixens have gone down to the Sunshine Coast Lightning, in a physical Suncorp Super Netball Semi Final match by just one goal, 56-55.
Melbourne Vixens Head Coach, Simone McKinnis, said it was not a bad thing to play again next Saturday.
“I actually see that there’s benefits to playing again, particularly with this group, to be able to keep it going, I’m actually ok with that,” said McKinnis.
“The key message is, we’re back next week, and there are benefits to having to play next week.”
It was a tight first quarter, with the Lightning getting the early jump on the Vixens, despite the Vixens normally being fast out of the blocks.
The Lightning obtained a three-goal lead, however fantastic defensive pressure from Emily Mannix and Jo Weston saw the team bounce back to level the scores at 13-all going into the first break.
With over five minutes played in the second term, the scores remained deadlocked at 17-all, and with just five minutes left, the Vixens hit the front for the first time after a gusty rebound from Weston.
They held that one goal lead at the main break, 26-25.
The Vixens had a dominant third quarter, with the team connecting as a unit throughout the court.
With a lead of five halfway through the quarter, 34-29, the Lightning had some fantastic play in the final few minutes to draw the score back to two at three-quarter-time, 42-40.
The final quarter was dominated by the Lightning, with their midcourt and defence disrupting the Vixens attacking line.
With 11 minutes on the clock, the scores were back to level at 45 all. The Lightning then hit the lead shortly after, and did not relinquish it again for the remainder of the match.
As the margin stretched out to four goals, Weston was again able to produce a crucial moment of play, however the clock was against the Vixens, as they went down by just the one goal.
McKinnis said the team will learn a lot from today’s match.
“They’ve been learning all year, they’ll take a lot from that and they know what it takes to have to win a final,” said McKinnis.
“It was a good, hard, tough match, I guess, it’s finals netball.”
McKinnis said that team must be able to push on and use the lead when they have it, after being up by five goals in the third quarter.
“Our work rate dropped off somewhat in the last quarter, but the last few minutes they pushed back and they fought hard for it.”
“I thought at times during the game we worked hard and got some really good ball… it felt like our turning that into a goal wasn’t very good.”
The Vixens will now host the Preliminary Final next Saturday, and play the winner of the GIANTS Netball and Magpies Netball Semi Final, in an elimination game.