THE Melbourne Vixens are the holders of the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup, after defeating the NSW Swifts by six goals in yesterday’s Suncorp Super Netball (SSN), 59-53. It took them until the last quarter, but they ultimately showed their class to take the win and move a game clear of everyone else on the ladder.
The Swifts brought the defensive pressure in the circle from the get go , but it did not matter for Kiera Austin as she converted a long shot. It did not mean much in the end though as the Swifts pinched a goal off the very next Vixens centre pass, and converted the next centre pass to maintain their lead.
The lead did not last song as the Vixens gave the Swifts a case of their own medicine off the very next Swifts centre. The Swifts then pinched the lead back, and was finally able to build a lead for themselves. It was a high intensity opening term, but the Swifts held strong and maintained their lead. That lead was roughly five goals for much of the term, and that’s where it sat at quarter time.
NSW Swifts continued to build their lead at the beginning of the second term, but then things began to switch and the Vixens started to bridge the gap. The Vixens got within a goal of their visitors, but then the Swifts regained control of the match, and momentum swung back their way. However, that was not the end of the momentum swings as the Vixens drew level again, but ran out of time to take the lead before half time as both sides went into the major break on 28 goals.
The third quarter was a very even affair. High intensity game play resulted in a tight scoreboard for much of the quarter. Ultimately it was the Vixens who took a lead into the final change of the slimmest of margins.
The Vixens raced ahead to a comfortable lead early in the last quarter, and by the time the first half of the quarter, the lead was eight goals. It got out to even more later in the term, but the Swifts really pegged it back thanks to some very accurate super shot shooting from Helen Housby. Unfortunately for the Swifts, it was too little, too late as the Vixens held on to win by six goals.
For the Vixens, their defensive trio of Kate Eddy, Jo Weston and Emily Mannix was particularly impressive. They combined for 15 deflections and three intercepts between them, Meanwhile for NSW, Housby was definitely best on court after nailing four crucial super shots. Kelly Singleton was also very good early, but did not get a lot of court time.
Next week sees the Vixens back at home to host the Sunshine Coast Lightning, while the NSW Swifts are also back in Victoria, this time to play the Magpies.
MELBOURNE VIXENS 12 | 16 | 14 | 17 (59)
NSW SWIFTS 17 | 11 | 13 | 12 (53)
GS: Mwai Kumwenda
GA: Kiera Austin
WA: Hannah Mundy
C: Liz Watson
WD: Kate Moloney
GD: Jo Weston
GK: Olivia Lewis
GS: Helen Housby
GA: Kelly Singleton
WA: Paige Hadley
C: Maddy Proud
WD: Tayla Fraser
GD: Maddy Turner
GK: Sarah Klau