Melbourne Vixens take down Giants 63-58 in Super Netball, Lightning defeat Thunderbirds
Melbourne Vixens and Sunshine Coast Lightning made sure they held down the top two spots on the Super Netball ladder with their respective victories on Sunday.
- The Vixens lead the Super Netball standings ahead of the Lightning and Swifts with a superior percentage
- Mwai Kumwenda starred for the Vixens in their 63-58 win over the Giants
- The Lightning defeated the Thunderbirds 53-45
The Vixens finished strongly to beat the Giants 63-58 on the Sunshine Coast, and the Lightning triumphed 53-45 in their encounter with Adelaide Thunderbirds.
At the completion of round six, the Vixens are on top of the standings on 20 points, ahead of the Lightning and NSW Swifts courtesy of a superior percentage.
The Vixens trailed the Giants at half-time, 31-26, but produced a dominant performance in the third quarter to take a two-goal advantage into the final term, 50-48.
The Vixen’s resurgence after half-time had much to do with the influence of Mwai Kumwenda, with the Malawi-born goal shooter scoring 12 goals and three super shots in the third quarter.
The Melbourne club did enough to keep their noses in front in the fourth quarter to ice their fifth victory of the season.
Kumwenda finished with 28 points for the match, while Caitlin Thwaites (25) and Tegan Philip (10) also carried out crucial roles on goal.
Kiera Austin topped the scoring for the Giants with 38 points (22 goals, eight super shots).
“We knew that we just had to hang in there and if we could do that, we would get over the top,” the Vixens’ Kate Moloney said after the match.
“For us, it’s something we haven’t been able to do in the past so I’m really proud of the girls for staying in the contest and being able to finish it off at the end.”
The Vixens next face the Thunderbirds in Brisbane on Wednesday, and the Giants play Queensland Firebirds on Tuesday.
Lightning strike to beat Thunderbirds
The Lighting kept pace with the Vixens to record their fifth win of the season with the defeat of the Thunderbirds, who had been chasing their third consecutive victory.
It proved to be a tight contest as the match entered the final quarter with the Lightning ahead by just one goal, 39-38.
But the hosts found enough in reserve to outscore their opponents 14-7 in the fourth period to clinch victory.
Lightning goal shooter Cara Koenen starred with 32 goals, while Lenize Potgieter managed 28 for the beaten Thunderbirds.
“We just need to stick to our game plan [against the Thunderbirds], stay consistent and identify what’s working for us then continue doing that,” Koenen told Channel Nine.
Koenen and the Lightning will meet the Swifts in Brisbane on Tuesday for the second time this season.
The Lightning extracted a degree of revenge for last year’s grand final loss to the Swifts when they won 65-58 in round four last week.