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Vixens secure home grand final

The Melbourne Vixens have secured a home grand final in a fortnight, after defeating the Queensland Firebirds in the major semi final of the ANZ Championship.

The Vixens earned the right to host the major semi final after claiming the minor premiership at the end of the regular season.

The Vixens lead for most of the game, fighting off a last quarter comeback by the Firebirds to win by five goals.

The game started goal-for-goal as the players got into the rhythm of the game. It would be the Vixens who settled first however, earning a lead of seven goals at the first break.

The first quarter set the Vixens up for the match, with the Firebirds in chase mode for the remainder of the match.

Despite making a strong comeback in the third and fourth quarter, the Firebirds were unable to draw level with the in-form Vixens.

Vixens’ midcourter, Liz Watson, said she approached the game like she would a normal game.

“I tried to just think of it as any other game, not a final,” Watson said.

“We don’t want to think of it as too much of a different game than what we’re used to and we know that our game works and that’s what we put out today so hopefully we can do that again in two weeks time.”

Watson said there are still some things that can be improved in the team’s game before the grand final.

“There’s always things to improve on so we’ll go back and look at the footage from that game and hopefully pick up some things and just keep building on what we know works.”

The Vixens will now have a week’s break before hosting the grand final in two weeks, for the second time in three years.

The Vixens hosted the 2012 grand final against the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic, however fell short of claiming the title.

The Vixens were denied a spot in the grand final last year by the Firebirds, who defeated them in the preliminary final.

Watson said she is looking forward to playing her first ANZ Championship grand final.

“A grand final, I know they don’t come around too often, so I’m pretty lucky to be in one already in my first season, so I’m going to take it with both hands and give it a great shot,” Watson said.

“It’s been amazing and to be in a grand final is something I never expected, like I never expected to play for the Vixens this year.”

In the minor semi final, played on Saturday, the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic made a thrilling come-from-behind win against the NSW Swifts. The sudden death final sees the Swifts now knocked out of the finals, whilst the Magic progress through to the preliminary final.

The Magic will now play the Firebirds in the preliminary final next week, with the winner to play the Vixens in the grand final in Melbourne.

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