Almighty comeback sees Vixens pinch thrilling yet controversial Derby

THE Melbourne Vixens have pulled off the almightiest of comebacks to steal a 62 to 61 goal win over Collingwood in the Melbourne Derby.

After being out of it for much of the match, they fought back hard late and with a goal after the siren stole the win.

However, the result was not without it’s controversies.

The Vixens were controversially able to take two centre passes in a row in a crucial point in the fourth quarter, which perhaps cost Collingwood the game.

Understandably Collingwood coach Nicole Richardson was visibly angry post match.

“What happened in the last minute and a half or whatever is an absolute fiasco. You cannot have a result like that. This is an elite level competition. You’ve got an automated scoreboard that tells you whose centre pass it is. You’ve got a bench that that knows exactly whose centre pass it is, but the bench do not have the power to do anything about it. That has just cost us the game. That’s why I’m angry,” she said.

“[The Vixens] just grabbed the ball and played on and a goal was scored, but Sophie Garbin addressed it, I then got up and addressed it to the umpire. I was basically ignored, they just wanted to finish the game. We wanted to bring it to their attention right there and then in the moment but they didn’t want to listen to us and the game continued.”

“We’ve just been completely robbed because we would have had the opportunity to go two goals up, we would have had the opportunity to starve ball and take some time off the clock and they shot after the siren anyway. So that is a massive error in what they’re doing and I’ve got nothing more to say. At the end of the day, they’ve stuffed up. They’ve cost us the game.”

As expected, the start to the match was tight and fierce. Both sides traded blows and neither side was going to give an inch.

It took almost five minutes for one side to pinch a goal off their opponent’s centre pass, and it was the Vixens who did so thanks to a clever intercept from Kate Moloney.

The Vixens got out to as much as four goals in front, but the Magpies worked their way back into the game, and drew level again as it hit Power Five time.

Initially Collingwood was going for the Super Shots – and nailing them – while the Vixens preferred to go with the safer regular goals, but no doubt sensing the urgency of the situation Kiera Austin found her range from Super Shot zone straight away from her first shot and Collingwood couldn’t use the Super Shot to break away from the Vixens.

The Vixens were not helping their own cause though, with silly errors in attack handing Collingwood way too much turnover ball.

All this saw Collingwood take a three goal lead into the first change.

Much like the opening exchanges of the first quarter, it was tight and tense to begin the second quarter. Neither side were giving an inch and one simple mistake was enough to make the difference between a team scoring versus a team conceding.

The Magpies maintained their three goal lead for much of the first half of the second quarter, but the Vixens began to work their way back into the game and got within one of their crosstown rival.

Collingwood quickly put a stop to that, and even extended their lead out further than three through the middle part of the quarter.

The Vixens again got within one, but even as the Power Five progressed still preferred to go the safer regular goal route instead of go for the Super Shot, which meant they were always behind on the scoreboard. Then when they finally did start going for the super shots they were unable to make any count, even the ones that went in.

A couple of late goals to the Magpies – including a super shot – saw the home side take a five goal lead into the main break.

It was again just about a goal for goal affair to begin the third term, with both sides putting their bodies on the line in pursuit of winning the contest.

The Magpies did eventually manage to piece together a run of multiple goals in a row, and as such extended their lead out to as much as six goals.

The Vixens brought it back to within four, but were their own worst enemy at times in attack, which only hindered them.

In the end, Collingwood took a six goal lead into the final change.

Collingwood’s lead grew even more in the opening minutes of the final term, getting out to as much as nine goals.

The Vixens were then able to eat away at the deficit a little, getting it down to six goals.

Then the Power Five hit and the Vixens were on, spurred on by a successful Mwai Kumwenda Super Shot.

Melbourne finally had some confidence back, and momentum was in it’s corner.

With about two minutes to go, the Vixens drew level and it really was anyone’s game.

As the final minute ticked down, it could have gone either way.

The Magpies were up by one with mere seconds left, but Kumwenda nailed a Super Shot after the siren to steal the win and break thousands of Magpie hearts.

For the Vixens Liz Watson (38 feeds, 20 assists, six deflections, four intercepts and two gains) was an absolute workhorse, while Jo Weston (four deflections, three gains, one intercept and a feed) also had a solid game in her first game for the season.

Meanwhile for Collingwood Shimona Nelson put up plenty of volume and only missed one shot all game, while Jodi-Ann Ward (three gains, three intercepts, three deflections) also had another great game.

COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES           18 | 15 | 14 | 14 (61)
MELBOURNE VIXENS                   15 | 13 | 13 | 21 (62)    


Collingwood Magpies

GS: Shimona Nelson
GA: Sophie Garbin
WA: Kelsey Browne
C: Molly Jovic
WD: Ash Brazill
GD: Jodi-Ann Ward
GK: Geva Mentor

Melbourne Vixens

GS: Mwai Kumwenda
GA: Kiera Austin
WA: Liz Watson
C: Kate Moloney
WD: Kate Eddy
GD: Emily Mannix
GK: Olivia Lewis

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