Shooting Statistics Melbourne Vixens Mwai Kumwenda 37/44 (84%) Tegan Philip 20/26 (77%) GIANTS Netball Kristina Brice 42/44 (95%) Jo Harten 23/25 (92%)
The Melbourne Vixens have lost their Preliminary Final against GIANTS Netball, going down 57-65 in an intense match.
The minor premiers scored the first goal of the match, however the GIANTS led for the remainder, after gaining an intercept in the opening minutes.
Melbourne Vixens Head Coach, Simone McKinnis said it was a disappointing way to finish the season.
“It was by no means the way we wanted to finish, but I cannot be disappointed in what they were able to do as a whole over the year, what they were able to achieve together,” said McKinnis.
“I’m as proud as anyone of the group this year, and what they’ve been able to achieve.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the year with them; they’ve worked as hard as I’ve ever had a group work and I thought that they played some really good netball throughout the year.”
The GIANTS defence was smothering throughout the match, keeping the normally high-scoring Vixens to just 12 goals for the first quarter.
The GIANTS extended their three-goal quarter-time score during the second period, with their defensive pressure forcing errors in the Vixens attacking end.
McKinnis said the team started shaky, and the GIANTS were able to convert off most turnovers.
“It was quite a shaky start for us, just in terms of basic skills and errors, so I think once we had that shaky start, the GIANTS were able to capitalise on every opportunity they had and then just kept pushing,” said McKinnis.
“We were certainly unsettled and weren’t able to get into any sort of rhythm or flow.”
“When you’re shaky in attack and then not putting defensive pressure on, you’re a long way from winning a game.”
At half-time, the GIANTS held an eight-goal lead, 32-24.
The Vixens defensive intensity stepped-up in the second half, with Emily Mannix and Jo Weston trying hard to stop the flow of ball into the GIANTS goal circle.
With the margin out to 12-goals, McKinnis looked for a change to the line-up, and drew on the experience of midcourter, Khao Watts.
At three-quarter-time, the GIANTS led by 13 goals, 35-49. The Vixens again lifted intensity in the final term, winning the quarter 19-14, however it was not enough to secure the lead, with the GIANTS winning by eight-goals.
McKinnis said the GIANTS played extremely well.
“I’d say GIANTS well and truly earnt their place in the grand final,” said McKinnis.
“I don’t think we were in the game from the word go.”
“We were just outplayed, we were outplayed in every capacity out there on court.”
Emily Mannix led the team for deflections with eight, and had three intercepts and three gains.
Liz Watson was also good defensively, finishing with two gains, two intercepts and two deflections.