Match Report: Fast starting Pies fall to Vixens

2 months ago

Collingwood has gone down to crosstown rivals, the the Melbourne Vixens, 61-53 at Nissan Area on Saturday.

AAP

Collingwood has gone down to crosstown rivals, the the Melbourne Vixens, 61-53 at Nissan Area on Saturday.

The Vixens overcame a slow start to record their 10th win of the season and lock in top spot on the ladder with two rounds left to play.

Star midcourter Liz Watson was unavailable after falling awkwardly on her ankle in round 11 and the Vixens struggled early with their connections without the league's goal-assist leader.

But the Vixens had too much experience and versatility for the injury-hit Magpies, captain Kate Moloney the driving force with 36 feeds, 23 goal assists and two intercepts.

Moloney said the depth of their squad has been a key factor in their rise to the top of the standings.

"We've seen in our shooting circle or down at our defensive end, whoever we chuck on they're stepping up and it really is seamless," Moloney told the Nine Network.

"We definitely need it in such a condensed season as well."

Looking for just their second win of the season, Collingwood did not make life easy for their cross-town foes as they scored the first eight goals of the match on their way to a 17-12 opening-quarter win.

But Melbourne found some momentum after Caitlin Thwaites and Mwai Kumwenda combined for three Suncorp Super Shots in the first Power Five period, clicking into gear in the second quarter to outscore the Magpies 18-9.

Leading 30-26 at halftime, the Vixens controlled the tempo in the second half to complete a season sweep against the struggling Magpies, late Super Shots from Gabi Sinclair and Nyah Allen helping keep the final margin in single digits.

Defender Emily Mannix made her return for the Vixens having missed two games due to calf soreness and with the minor premiership in their possession, coach Simone McKinnis has the option to manage her squad's playing time heading into the semi-finals.

The Magpies will close their season with clashes against the Sunshine Coast Lightning and Queensland Firebirds as they look to build for the future behind defensive duo Geva Mentor and Jodi Ann Ward.

Collingwood's 2021 roster took another hit with Nat Medhurst joining Madi Browne in retirement during the week, the former Australian Diamonds goal attack calling time on her 17-year career having spent the current season on maternity leave.

Score breakdown
Q1: Magpies 17 v Vixens 12
Q2: Magpies 9 v Vixens 18
Q3: Magpies 13 v Vixens 16
Q4: Magpies 14 v Vixens 15

Nissan Player of The Match – Kate Moloney (Melbourne Vixens)

Magpies shooting statistics
Shimona Nelson: Total points - 43 G1 43/44 (98%) G2 0/1 (0%)
Gabby Sinclair: Total points - 8 G1 4/4 (100%) G2 2/4 (50%)
Nyah Allen: Total points - 2 G1 0/0 (0%) G2 1/2 (50%)

Vixens shooting statistics
Mwai Kumwenda: Total points - 16 G1 12/13 (92%) G2 2/3 (67%)
Caitlin Thwaites: Total points - 23 G1 19/20 (95%) G2 2/2 (100%)
Tegan Philip: Total points - 22 G1 22/26 (85%) G2 0/0 (0%)

Magpies starting seven: GS – Shimona Nelson GA – Gabby Sinclair WA – Kelly Altmann C – Molly Jovic WD – Mel Bragg GD – Jodi-Ann Ward GK – Geva Mentor

Vixens starting seven: GS - Mwai Kumwenda GA - Caitlin Thwaites WA - Tayla Honey C - Kate Moloney WD - Kate Eddy GD - Jo Weston GK - Emily Mannix

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