Vixens pull off massive comeback to move into Grand Final

THE Melbourne Vixens have put their double chance to good use, after defeating the GIANTS Netball 55-54 to move through to the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) Grand Final.

After being 10 goals down early in the last quarter, the Vixens staged one almighty comeback to claw their way back and take the win.

The Vixens win was really set up by some brilliant defensive work from Kate Eddy (one intercept, three deflections), Jo Weston (two deflections and two intercepts) and Emily Mannix (three intercepts and two deflections), while a massive 10 Super Shots from the GIANTS (seven from Jo Harten and three from Sophie Dwyer) ultimately was not enough as the visitors fell heartbreakingly short.

Despite what the scoreline showed, it was just the minor things separating the teams for much of the opening quarter. The teams went goal for goal for much of the opening few minutes of the quarter, and the play was just as tight. Both sides had their defensive pressures up and were not going to make life for their opponent easy.

When the Vixens did finally become the first team to break their opponent’s centre pass, and then went on a scoring four in a row run, that was really was split the teams apart. The Vixens did start to assert dominance towards the back end of the quarter, and at quarter time held an eight-goal lead as their reward.

However, it was the GIANTS who got the better start to the second term, nabbing the first four goals of the quarter. It was not too long though before the home side were able to wrestle back some control and restore their quarter time lead.

Though the GIANTS, in particular Harten, were certainly not done yet for the quarter, with the GIANTS’ skipper super shotting her side right back into contention. Thanks to Harten’s whopping six Super Shots for the quarter, it was the GIANTS who took a two-goal lead into the main break.

It really was anyone’s game in the third term. The Vixens clawed back the lead pretty quickly, but fumbly passing was really not their friend as the GIANTS regained their lead again. The visitors maintained their lead all quarter, and just as the Vixens looked like they were about to get on a role late, a couple of crucial calls did not go their way and it was the GIANTS who went on a role instead.

They held a nine-goal lead at the final change, and were looking well on their way to their second consecutive Grand Final. Slowly but surely, the Vixens began to claw back the lead in the final term, and were playing like a team with their season truly on the line. With just under four minutes to go, the margin was down to one.

The Vixens clawed their way to the lead with only a few minutes to go, but one Dwyer Super Shot was all it took to even things out again. You could cut the tension filling the arena with a butter knife. It took until the final ten seconds of the match, but the Vixens held on to redeem last week and move on to the Grand Final.

MELBOURNE VIXENS 15 | 11 | 12 | 17 (55)
GIANTS NETBALL 7 | 21 | 19 | 7 (54)


Melbourne Vixens:

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

GIANTS Netball:

GS: Jo Harten
GA: Sophie Dwyer
WA: Maddie Hay
C: Jamie-Lee Price
WD: Amy Parmenter
GD: April Brandley
GK: Tilly McDonnell

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