Melbourne Vixens walked away with the four points in a scintillating Game 1 of the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup, defeating NSW Swifts by five goals 48-53 at Ken Rosewall Arena.
Vixens raced out of the blocks in the first quarter skipping out to a five-goal lead, with the shooting combination of Rahni Samason (7 from 11) and Mwai Kumwenda (41 from 44) finding their groove against the Swifts’ defensive duo in Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner.
Up the other end of the court Jo Weston and Emily Mannix combined nicely to stop English international and Swifts goaler Helen Housby and youngster Kelly Singleton. Mannix collected a wealth of intercepts and rebounds early thanks to her reach and quick footwork.
The midcourt battle was hard to look away from with Maddy Proud and Kate Moloney going toe-to-toe for the majority of the match. Liz Watson was up to her usual tricks in wing attack, imposing herself against former teammate Allie Smith.
Kumwenda continued to motor under the post with her strong takes and fancy footwork allowing her to dominate the scoreboard. The Vixens maintained a 13-goal margin for most of the second quarter and kept the pressure on throughout the third with the introduction of Kiera Austin working wonders.
Kate Moloney showed her defensive attributes throughout the game stealing two intercepts in the third term, while Kate Eddy worked in overdrive to nullify the influence of Tayla Fraser.
Hannah Mundy brought plenty of energy in centre, but a late push from the Swifts in the dying minutes of the third quarter saw them bring the deficit back to 11 goals.
With the pressure on in the final term, the Vixens dug deep with Samason returning to steady the ship in attack. The momentum started to shift in favour of the Swifts, with the home side reducing the margin to four goals with just five minutes left to play. But the Vixens stood strong with player of the match Liz Watson maintaining composure to guide her side to victory.
Round 3 sees the Vixens take on GIANTS Netball at John Cain Arena next Saturday 9 April. Tickets are available now via Ticketek.