Melbourne Vixens have progressed to the Super Netball preliminary final with an emphatic 62-49 victory over Collingwood Magpies.
After suffering an 11-goal loss to the Magpies in the final round of the season, the Vixens turned the tables in Sunday’s minor semi-final at the State Netball Hockey Centre to eliminate their cross-town rivals.
The Magpies went into Sunday’s do-or-die clash riding high on a three-game winning streak, but any chance of a first finals victory was erased as the Vixens grabbed the early momentum courtesy of a 20-9 opening quarter.
From there, the Vixens were never headed as they cruised to victory in the first meeting in a final between the two Melbourne clubs, breaking their three-game losing sequence to advance to the grand-final qualifier.
The Vixens will play NSW Swifts at Sydney’s Quaycentre next Sunday, with the winner to face Sunshine Coast Lightning in the grand final.
Caitlin Thwaites (29/33) and Tegan Philip (29/36) powered the Vixens attack, making the most of the extra opportunities stemming from 30 Magpies’ turnovers.
Shimona Nelson (42/46) was on target for Collingwood but it was not enough, with 19 general play turnovers coming from the Magpies’ attacking end.
Collingwood’s attack was found wanting in the first quarter with the Vixens forcing nine turnovers, eight of those resulting in goals, on the way to their 20-9 start.
The Magpies were more composed in the second stanza but failed to capitalise as the Vixens reeled off the last five goals of the half to build a 34-19 edge at the main break.
Any hopes of a Collingwood revival were dashed as Melbourne went on an 8-4 run to start the second half, though the Magpies recovered to outscore the Vixens 14-12 in the third quarter.