The Melbourne Vixens are powering into a season defining winning streak. This weekend they meet the Collingwood Magpies at their home court – the Margaret Court Arena Melbourne.
Suncorp Super Netball 18/02/2017 Round 1 Vixens v Magpies Photo: Grant Treeby
The Vixens home court is Arena Stadium at the State Netball and hockey Centre in Brens Rd Parkville. The show courts and all timber sports flooring at the centre was constructed by Nellakir – Victoria and Tasmania’s leading construction and maintenance team for Competition Level Sprung Timber Flooring. Nellakir exclusively use ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems, providing the best competition surfaces for both Netball and Basketball in the State – a surface that continue to power the Melbourne Vixens to further victories. Here is a report on last week’s game in Perth.
Melbourne Vixens upset West Coast Fever, keep finals hopes strong
Melbourne Vixens won’t be going quietly.
The Vixens are far from certain finalists after a mixed start to the Super Netball season but on Saturday they showed just how good they can be with a comprehensive 74-60 win over ladder-leaders West Coast Fever at Hisense Arena.
Melbourne claimed seven of the eight possible points giving their hopes of moving up into the top four from sixth position every chance.
To make it the Vixens will need more wins and a healthy dose of bonus points from their remaining seven games but this win was the blueprint of how they can get it done.
The Vixens offered starring performances across the court as they zoned off defensively and forced the visitors into errors while in attack Tegan Philip (25 goals from 31 shots) showed a burst of match-winning speed in the first half shooting 15 goals as the Vixens led by 16 goals at half time.
Shooter Mwai Kumwenda (49 goals from 51 shots) was as prolific as always while Kate Moloney and Liz Watson were constants at both ends and Renea Ingles showed she has fast regained her elite edge in wing defence.
“We have had a really good two weeks during the bye, we have been working really hard towards playing the netball they are capable of producing,” Vixens coach Simone McKinnis said.
“They saw the rewards tonight, the work rate was consistent across the four quarters.
“There is no easy answer or easy way of beating that sort of team, it is just doing the hard work
“They were prepared for what they had to do and they did it.”
McKinnis praised the shooting of Kumwenda and the run of Philip adding Ingles showed the fruits of hard training during the bye.
“I think she has gone up another level today and the more she is out there, the better she will become,” McKinnis said.
Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich said her side had to learn their lessons from the loss.
“They really put us under a lot of pressure with the way they contested and their hands over right down the court,” Marinkovich said.
“It was a very clinical, Victorian style of play. They executed well and did it for very long periods of time.
Both teams looked up for the contest in the opening 10 minutes as they traded goals and and leads.
Then the Vixens found their grove with one turnover eliciting a scream from captain Moloney as her side took a 17-14 lead into quarter time then took the contest away from the Fever.
That second quarter was not just owned by the cunning play of Philip but the team defence of the Vixens who repeatedly forced turnovers or errant passes from the Fever as defenders Emily Mannix and Jo Weston made life difficult for dominant shooter Jhaniele Fowler (56 goals from 60 shots) while wing defence Renae Ingles smothered multiple wing attacks leaving nearly all the playmaking to the overworked Verity Charles and Nat Medhurst.
An eight-point Vixens lead forced a time out from the Fever but upon the restart a turnover and follow up goal saw that lead enter double figures.
From there it kept climbing and the Vixens would have been happy for the term to go beyond 15 minutes as they went into half time up 43-27.
The Fever haven’t fluked their strong start to the season and bring Kaylia Stanton into goal attack and moving Medhurst to wing attack led to a much closer third term as Stanton offered another shooting option outside of Fowler.
An 18-14 quarter meant the Fever would at least take a point from the game.
The Fever went for broke to start the final term cutting the lead to nine as they went back to feeding long balls into Fowler but the Vixens finished strongly to claim the final term.
Ingles made an intercept early in the final term which brought a big cheer from 5838 home fans, just as Ingles is finding her feet after a late start to 2018, so are her Vixens.
The Vixens and Collingwood Magpies square off in their second meeting at the season at Margaret Court Arena this coming Sunday at 1pm.
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