The Melbourne Vixens have gone down to reigning premiers the Queensland Firebirds [47-58] in Round Three of their ANZ Championship fixture at Hisense Arena on Saturday evening.
Round Three Shooting Statistics
Emma Ryde: 22/25 (88%)
Alice Teague-Neeld: 15/22 (68%)
Kim Commane: 10/14 (71%)
Romelda Aiken: 42/45 (93%)
Gretal Tippett: 16/21(76%)
Speaking to Head Coach Simone McKinnis after the match, she said, “We played some good netball out there tonight against the title holders. I’ve said it before, no one gave us any hope of getting near them, however, we showed lots of heart and fought all the way to the end, so I’m happy with that.”
It was a strong start for the visitors, with star import Romelda Aiken on-target in the circle for the Firebirds, opening up a three-goal lead early on in the first quarter.
Retaliating to the oppositions lead, Emma Ryde and Alice Teague-Neeld’s combinations paid dividends for the Vixens, helping them back to nine-all midway through the first quarter, however, it wasn’t enough to shutdown the Firebirds who once again pulled away to lead 16-13 before quarter time.
Finding their feet in the second quarter, the Vixens’ attack started to create valuable opportunities throughout the midcourt with Captain Madi Robinson delivering her younger shooters expert feeds.
Up the other end of the court, Geva Mentor’s limits were tested up against Aiken in the second quarter, however, it was Mentor’s two intercepts that helped keep the hosts in the game before the halftime break.
A quick interchange mid-way through the third quarter saw Kim Commane replace young-gun Alice Teague-Neeld, making an instant impact on the scoreboard for the Vixens.
McKinnis was pleased with the performance of her inexperienced trio in attack this evening.
“It was big steps for them [Commane, Ryde and Teague-Neeld] to be out there against the defending champions tonight. I thought they all did a good job, and for a young group it was exciting,” McKinnis said.
In the final 15 minutes of play, the Vixens fought back to get within seven goals of the lead, before the Firebirds showcased a run of three consecutive goals by Aiken, cruising to an 11-goal victory.
The Vixens will now receive a bye next week before returning to the Hisense Arena in Melbourne to face the WBOP Magic in Round Five of the ANZ Championship on Sunday 1 May.
Melbourne Vixens’ squad v Queensland Firebirds
Saturday 16 April 2016, Hisense Arena
Emma Ryde (GS)
Alice Teague-Neeld (GA)
Madi Robinson (C)
Liz Watson (WA)
Kate Moloney (WD)
Jo Weston (GD)
Geva Mentor (GK)
Did Not Play
Fixtures & Results
Sunday 3 April: Vixens v Swifts, Sydney, NSW (42-57 Swifts)
Sunday 10 April: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Adelaide, SA (59-44 Vixens)
Saturday 16 April: Vixens v Firebirds, Melbourne, VIC (47-58 Firebirds)
Sunday 1 May: Vixens v Magic, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 9 May: Vixens v Tactix, Christchurch, NZL
Sunday 15 May: Vixens v Swifts, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 21 May: Vixens v Fever, Perth, WA
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4 June: Vixens v Firebirds, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 12 June: Vixens v Mystics, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19 June: Vixens v Fever, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25 June: Vixens v Steel, Invercargill, NZL
Monday 4 July: Vixens v Pulse, Wellington, NZL
Fox Sports will show all of the ANZ Championship matches live in Australia. Please check your local television guide for Channel Ten broadcast times.
Follow the team's results on Twitter by following @MelbourneVixens and using #PowerTogether.