Vixens defence delivers in Melbourne Derby

ROUND 8 of the Suncorp Super Netball saw many players return from injury, some shine under the microscope and others crumble under the pressure.

NSW Swifts (64) defeated by Sunshine Coast Lightning (66)

This clash proved to be the battle of the coaches and who would take advantage of the players they had on the bench. The Swifts kept their starting seven for the whole game whereas the Lightning utilised their bench.

The Lightning had a convincing eight-goal lead at the last break but a seven-goal run by the Swifts kicked everyone into gear knowing whoever sank the most super shots in the last five minutes would win the game.

Maddy Proud (42 feeds, 29 goal assists) has been the cog missing for the Swifts over the most recent weeks with her experience bleeding out on court. She knows the Swifts game in and out, and maintained that throughout the whole game to keep the Swifts in the contest. Proud was able to give pin point accurate feeds to Sophie Fawns who had a monster day at the post with 40 goals back in goal shooter.

The Lightning attack was faced with some challenges through the defensive pressure of Sarah Klau and Allie Smith with three intercepts each.

Courtney Bruce was back from injury this week, and although she was on very limited minutes, seeing only 17 minutes of court time, she made an immediate impact.

Adelaide Thunderbirds (68) defeated West Coast Fever (50)

In what was the most surprising result of the round, the Thunderbirds came out victors by 18 points over the Fever. Everything seemed to go wrong for the Fever with three of their attackers finishing in the negatives for Net Points.

The game was already done at half time where the home side led by 15 after a 19 to 9 second quarter. In similar Thunderbirds fashion, they had a massive 19 gains for the game compared to Fever’s nine, and it was the former who were able to capitalise on their turnovers.

After a shaky game last week, Romelda Aiken-George had a better night under the post, scoring 50 of her 60 goals but accumulated nine of her rebounds. Georgie Horjus (five goals, 35 feeds, 21 goal assists) also proved to be what the Thunderbirds needed in attack, giving the whole attack line more confidence to release the ball while maintaining their winning structures.

Alice Teague-Neeld (two goals, 24 goal assists) even had a stint in goal attack, but no goal attack option seemed to work for the visitors due to the smothering Thunderbirds’ defence.

GIANTS Netball (71) defeated Queensland Firebirds (67)

The GIANTS racked up another victory at home after an even first half.

Their shooters in Jo Harten (35 goals, four rebounds) and Sophie Dwyer (26 goals) were able to just hold and run into any space they wanted and punished the Firebirds lack of defence in the second half through the super shot.

Penalties were a burden for the Queenslanders, notching up 61 to the GIANTS’ 35, therefore allowing plenty more second chances on goal, especially during super shot time. 

The Firebirds were within touching distance in the fourth quarter just trailing by one in the last four minutes, but super shots from Dwyer pulled the game away and saw the team in orange sing the team song.

Charli Fidler made her debut for the home side in defence and made an immediate impact while NSW local Ali Miller also made her debut for the Firebirds in shooter.

Melbourne Vixens (77) defeated Melbourne Mavericks (58)

An equal first quarter was exactly what the Melbourne Derby was going to be. The Mavericks have been on hot form lately whereas the Vixens are battling it out for top spot on the ladder.

The Vixens made a little wiggle room for themselves to lead by five at half time. A 40-26 second half was painful for the Mavericks who kept the Vixens up to the challenge, but were unable to hold up against the ladder leaders.

Kiera Austin (16 goals, 21 goal assists, four deflections, one intercept, zero turnovers) has just been improving throughout the season and proved many wrong that she can have the amount of ball she had and not cough any up. She had Kim Jenner on her who unraveled and ended with 24 penalties, giving the Vixens plenty of second chances on shots and releasing the pressure the Mavericks were trying to build.

Amy Parmenter dislocated her finger near the start of the second quarter but quickly returned on court for the third. One of the Vixens best players today in Rudi Ellis (five deflections, and three intercepts) went down in the dying minutes of the game with what looked like an Achilles injury.

Super Netball Reserves

GIANTS (57) v Firebirds (50)

Swifts (56) v Lightning (42)

Thunderbirds (51) v Fever (52)

Swifts (54) v Firebirds (49)

GIANTS (68) v Lightning (51)

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