The Collingwood Magpies have put themselves into the minor semi-final with a huge 58 to 47 win over the Melbourne Vixens, keeping the Vixens to their lowest-ever Suncorp Super Netball score.
Suncorp Super Netball
It was all on the line for the Magpies – they needed to win the match and take all four bonus points or win three bonus points and the match by seven or more goals to claim a spot in the minor semi-final, and they rose to the challenge.
The Magpies came out firing in the first five minutes, determined to make their mark on the match early. Their full court pressure cause the Vixens make some early errors and Collingwood capitalised, getting out to a four-goal lead.
The mid-court battle in centre between Vixens’ captain Kate Moloney and Nissan Player of the Match Ash Brazill was physical and showed it was going to have a huge impact on the match, with both athletes commanding play for their teams from the opening whistle.
The Magpies controlled most of the first quarter, but the final few minutes of the term saw the Vixens make a strong comeback. The Magpies were able to hold on and take a 14-12 lead into the first break and win their first crucial bonus point of the match.
The Magpies momentum only built in the second quarter, stretching their lead out to eight within the first five minutes and keeping the Vixens to only two goals.
Vixens coach Simone McKinnis called a time-out and Moloney asked for her team to take a deep breathe and reset. The Vixens responded well, and they scored six out of the next seven goals and brought the margin back to three.
Magpies’ goal attack Nat Medhurst was a huge play-maker for her team throughout the first half, opening up the goal circle with her movement and shooting at 91%.
Like the first quarter, the Magpies led the entire time and the Vixens only made a late run in the final few minutes, causing the fight for the second bonus point to go right down to the wire.
The Magpies were able to hold the Vixens off yet again to win the quarter by one goal and take a three-goal lead (28-25) into the half-time break.
There were no positional changes by either team to kick-off the third quarter and the Vixens started well, stretching their lead out to five within the opening few minutes.
The defensive pressure from both teams was immense with Jo Weston and Emily Mannix taking several intercepts for the Vixens and the combination of Magpies captain Geva Mentor and April Brandley causing three held balls in the Vixens’ attack end.
It went goal-goal-goal for the first half of the third quarter, but with five minutes to go the Vixens called a time-out and moved Caitlin Thwaites out to goal attack for Tegan Philip who moved back into goal shooter. They also brought on Kadie-Ann Dehaney for Mannix in goal keeper.
The change-up didn’t help the Vixens and the Magpies took complete control of the match, taking their three-quarter time lead out to 11 and claiming their third bonus point.
With her 29th goal, Shimona Nelson shot her 1000th Suncorp Super Netball career goal. Nelson scored 42 for the match, shooting at 89%.
The Magpies took their lead out to 12 and the Vixens made further changes, bringing back on Mannix for Dehaney in goal keeper and Mwai Kumwenda in goal shooter for Thwaites.
The Vixens finally found some flow in the final quarter and managed to even the fourth term score, so no bonus point was awarded but the Magpies took a convincing 58 to 47 goal win.
They didn’t win all four bonus points, but the Magpies did all they needed to, winning three bonus points and the match by more than seven goals to jump the GIANTS and take fourth spot on the ladder.
They’ll now face the Vixens again next week in the minor semi-final at 1pm on Sunday at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne.
Q1: Magpies 14 v Vixens 12
Q2: Magpies 14 v Vixens 13
Q3: Magpies 17 v Vixens 9
Q4: Magpies 13 v Vixens 13
Suncorp Super Netball Premiership Points
Magpies – 7
Vixens – 0
Nissan Player of The Match – Ash Brazill (Magpies)
Magpies shooting statistics – 58/64 (91%)
Shimona Nelson – 42/47 (89%)
Nat Medhurst – 16/17 (94%)
Vixens shooting statistics – 47/53 (89%)
Caitlin Thwaites – 21/23 (92%)
Tegan Philip – 21/26 (81%)
Mwai Kumwenda – 5/5 (100%)
Magpies starting seven: GS – Shimona Nelson, GA – Nat Medhurst, WA – Kimiora Poi, C – Ash Brazill, WD – Kim Ravaillion, GD – April Brandley, GK – Geva Mentor
Vixens starting seven: GS – Caitlin Thwaites, GA – Tegan Philip, WA – Liz Watson, C – Kate Moloney, WD – Renae Ingles, GD – Jo Weston, GK – Emily Mannix