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Round Five: The Magic Score Their First Win

Melbourne Vixens get another 1 point win on Weekend. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images. Editorial Use

Round 5 of the ANZ Championship has just come to an end and the Melbourne Vixens still remain the only undefeated team in the competition, winning by one point in the dying seconds of the game against the Mission Queensland Firebirds. The Adelaide Thunderbirds stepped their intensity up another level in their win against the West Coast Fever, the LG Mystics won a hard-fought battle with the Haier Pulse and the First Windows Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic claimed their first win of the season against the EasiYo Tactix.

West Coast Fever v Adelaide Thunderbirds

The round kicked off with the Adelaide Thunderbirds taking on the West Coast Fever in Perth. The match was delayed by 15 minutes due to technical issues in the area and with both teams having to regroup while they waited for the problems to be resolved. The Thunderbirds made the best out of the delay, coming out firing in the first quarter, with their pressure forcing basic turnovers from the Fever players, resulting in the Thunderbirds leading by six goals at quarter-time.

Quarter two was much the same story, with the Thunderbirds expanding the lead to 10 goals at half time. Catherine Cox for the Fever only scored one goal for the half while the Thunderbirds Jamaican shooter, Carla Borrego only missed one of her 13 goals to half time.

The third quarter saw the Fever narrow the gap in the scores to six points, with both teams making changes to their line-up. A huge collision between the Fevers’ Cath Cox and the Thunderbirds’ Sharni Layton saw the captain of the Fever take an injury time to recover, with the Thunderbirds taking advantage of this opportunity to again change their team on court and gained a lead of eleven. The Fever’s Caitlin Bassett was on fire in the third quarter, shooting at 100%. The Thunderbirds pushed through to win by a strong 12 goals in the end score, 48 – 36. Sharni Layton managed 9 deflections for the game and Renae Hallinan finished with 4 intercepts.

Melbourne Vixens v Mission Queensland Firebirds

The Melbourne Vixens have overcome a seven goal deficit to win in another nail biter in their clash with the Mission Queensland Firebirds on Sunday. The Firebirds lead the whole game and were up by 7 goals at three-quarter-time, before a shot on the buzzer from Karyn Howarth saw the Vixens keep their undefeated record intact, winning by just one goal.

The Firebirds were strong in the first quarter, leading 11 – 4 with five minutes left in the quarter. The Vixens managed to level in the second quarter at 23 all and were down 27 – 25 at half time. The Firebirds got off to a six goal lead during the third quarter and some changes were made by the Vixens, with shooter Karyn Howarth, who starred in the Vixens’ first game against the Firebirds this year, and Sarah Wall taking the court.

“I thought Nourse was starting to dominate and we needed to shut her down and Sarah Wall is a really good running player so I thought she had the speed to go with her,” said Vixens’ coach Julie Hoornweg after the match.

The Vixens kept the same line-up going into the last quarter, where they managed to equal the score at 51 all with 20 seconds to go, until the Vixens’ Karyn Howarth shot the winning goal with one second left on the clock.

This is coming off the Vixens one point win against the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic last week, where the Magic had led for majority of the game until a quick play from the Vixens saw them hit the lead with seconds left on the court.

Haier Pulse v LG Mystics

The LG Mystics continue their impressive start to the season, taking out another win over the Haier Pulse. The Mystics lead at every break in the game to win by 4 points, 51 – 47. Catherine Latu for the Mystics shot at 100% for the game, scoring 29 goals and the Mystics defence was on fire, making double the amount of intercepts than the Pulse had.

The Mystics are the highest placing New Zealand team on the ladder at third place, only suffering one loss to the Adelaide Thunderbirds whilst the Pulse are sitting at seventh place.

Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic v EasiYo Tactix

The final game of the round was between the First Windows Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic and the EasiYo Tactix. Both teams were desperate for a win, with the Tactix only having one win for the season and the Magic without any wins so far.

After a close first quarter with one point separating the team at quarter-time, the Magic rallied and led by 8 goals at half time, 32 – 24. The third quarter saw the Tactix make a comeback, making the difference just three goals at three-quarter-time until the Magic ran away with the first win of the season, 61 – 52.

The two shooters for both teams were the stand outs for the game, with Irene van Dyk once again shooting at 100% for the match, and Jo Harten for the Tactix shooting 49 of their 52 goals. Leana de Bruin for the Magic was a stand out in defence, scoring 5 rebounds and 6 deflections.


The NSW Swifts and the Ascot Park Southern Steel both had byes this round.

Aimee Dawson

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