Thunderbirds full throttle to crush rattled Vixens

THE Adelaide Thunderbirds are back on the winners list after a dominant 61-50 win over the Melbourne Vixens in the Suncorp Super Netball yesterday. Despite the Vixens having the momentum early, once the Thunderbirds got going they really had the Vixens rattled and the visitors were never able to recover.

Thanks to some stellar work from Jo Weston in defence, the Vixens were able to capitalise and pinch a goal off the opening Adelaide centre pass, then scored off the next centre pass to consolidate their lead.

After a few little errors from the Thunderbirds, the Vixens were able to build a solid buffer, but the home side worked their way back into the game to see the margin sit at only one as the Power Five began.

However as the Power Five progressed the Thunderbirds slipped back into silly errors costing them dearly, and it did not help that the shooters did not have the confidence to shoot. But, spurred on by some Eleanor Cardwell Super Shot shooting and some excellent defending from Shamera Sterling, the Thunderbirds drew back level by the time the quarter time buzzer went.

The Thunderbirds were the ones to get a much better start to the second term, and as such built a five goal lead in the opening half of the second term. Adelaide held momentum for much of the quarter as the Thunderbirds left the Vixens a little rattled.

The Vixens got back within two during the Power Five, but were ultimately down by five at the main break. Adelaide maintained its momentum for much of the third term and some really rare poor errors from some of the Vixens’ most experience players was just the tip of the iceberg as the Thunderbirds’ pressure really put the Vixens off their game.

As much Kiera Austin tried to get her team back in the match with some excellent Super Shot shooting in the back end of the quarter, Cardwell countered up the other end so when the teams turned for home the margin was out to six goals.

The Thunderbirds kept their foot on the gas in the last quarter the Vixens remained rattled and not looking like they were going to get themselves back in the match. Latanya Wilson was particularly impressive for the home side with a number of intercepts and deflections to her name, which just added to the pain her side was inflicting on the Vixens.

The Thunderbirds’ lead just kept growing, and not even a bloody Tippah Dwan knee was going to stop the home side’s momentum.

Although it was a full team performance from the Thunderbirds, it was the defenders who really shone, namely Wilson (eight deflections, four gains, two intercepts), Shamera Sterling (eight deflections, eight gains, one intercept) and Matilda Garrett (four gains, three deflections, two intercepts).

Meanwhile for the Vixens Weston was the real stand out, finishing with five deflections and three gains in what was at times a really poor performance from the Vixens.

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS      13 | 16 | 15 | 17 (61)
MELBOURNE VIXENS     13 | 11 | 14 | 12 (50)


Adelaide Thunderbirds

GS: Eleanor Cardwell
GA: Tippah Dwan
WA: Georgie Horjus
C: Tayla Williams
WD: Latanya Wilson
GD: Matilda Garrett
GK: Shamera Sterling

Melbourne Vixens

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

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