The SportingJournal

Vixens claim feverish win in the west

MELBOURNE VIXENS SUMMER CHALLENGE NETBALL 2013The Melbourne Vixens have regained top spot on the ANZ Championship ladder, after defeating the West Coast Fever 58 – 49 today in Perth.

Both teams were playing without one of their stars, with Vixen’s shooter, Karyn Howarth, missing the second game in a row due to knee soreness, and Fever’s gun midcourter, Ashleigh Brazill missing the game as the result of a badly rolled ankle in last week’s game against the NSW Swifts. The Fever were lifted by the return of wing defender, Andrea Gilmore, who played her first game since rolling her ankle in round one of the Championship.

The Vixens were dominant early, with defender Geva Mentor pressuring the Fever attack line from the beginning, and finishing the game with three rebounds, three intercepts and seven deflections. Captain, Bianca Chatfield was dominant in the other defensive position, keeping her opponent, Fever captain, Catherine Cox, to 10 goals for the match.

The Vixens would finish the first quarter with a six-goal lead, with Sharelle McMahon shooting 10 goals, the bulk of the Vixens 16, whilst the Fever were shooting at 100%, with Caitlin Bassett scoring seven goals, and Catherine Cox, three.

The second quarter saw the scoreline edge out to nine goals, with Caldwell and Bassett battling it out for the most goals scored. Three goals in a row from Bassett late in the quarter saw the margin cut to just four goals, and score finishing at five goals the difference at the main break.

Two changes were made by the Fever at half time, with Chanel Gomes moving from goal defence to wing defence, and Josie Janz taking the court at goal defence. Sharp shooting from Caitlin Bassett saw the Fever get to within three points of the lead before again, the lead returned to six goals.

A time out was called by Fever’s centre Shae Bolton, who was replaced at centre by Lindal Rohde, whilst Vixen’s centre, Elissa Macleod, was also taken from court and replaced by Kate Maloney.

The changes did not favour either team, with the score remaining six goals the difference going into the final quarter.

The last quarter The Vixen’s dominated, with three goals in a row from Caldwell seeing the margin blow out to ten goals. A wealth of changes in defence were made by the Fever to try and stop the flow of goals, however it was too little too late, as the score went out to 11 goals, before some quick Fever goals at the end of the match saw the score finish at nine points the difference.

The Vixen’s Madison Browne was named best on court, finishing the game with 20 goal assists, seeing her jump to equal number one on the statistics, with a total of 85 alongside the Fever’s Verity Simmons.

Vixen’s coach, Simone McKinnis, said that the key to winning the game was to slow down the Fever’s attacking end.

“Fever are a team that when they are on the run and able to let the ball go to the first option they are really dangerous so we needed to slow them down, hold them up, get hands over every ball and take away that first release for them.”

“We needed that defensively all the way down the court from everyone and we had that today.”

The Vixens will now head home for their clash with the 6th placing Central Pulse in Melbourne next Sunday.

Photos by Tom Griffiths/TSJ

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