Vixens win top-of-table netball clash

Apr 29, 2017 - 11:24 AM Melbourne Vixens showcased their Super Netball championship pedigree with a 70-59 victory over Sunshine Coast Lightning at Margaret Court Arena on Saturday night.

The Vixens led at every change in the top of the table clash to overturn their round-two loss to the Lightning and record their seventh victory in a row.

They extended their competition lead to two points over the Lighting with four regular-season rounds to play.

Vixens shooter Mwai Kumwenda had a perfect game under the posts and top scored for Melbourne with 40 goals at 100 per cent accuracy.

The Malawi striker also continued to build her impressive partnership with Tegan Philip (30 from 33) and they shined against the competition's best defender Geva Mentor, who leads the way for most deflections and second most intercepts.

Lightning's Caitlin Basset top scored for the match with 41 goals from 42 attempts but at times found it hard to shake the strong defence of Emily Mannix, while Stephanie Wood (18 from 22) had an intense battle against in-form defender Jo Weston.

The Vixens midcourt also took their game to the next level with Liz Watson, Kate Moloney and Chloe Watson giving nothing away to their opponents and forced early changes in the Lightning's line up.

The Vixens showed their intent early with a hard and fast start and applied intense pressure on their Queensland opponents.

The Vixens shot out to a six goal lead and maintained their handy advantage in an evenly fought second quarter to go to halftime up 38-32 - a season high for goals scored by Melbourne.

Lightning fought back in the third quarter and narrowed the margin to four, but Melbourne extended the buffer to 54-47 at the last change.

Vixens coach Simone McKinnis said they weren't phased about coming up against the competition's leading scorer Bassett or the league's best defender Mentor.

"We were just coming in and playing our game because I think sometimes you can get caught thinking about the opposition," McKinnis said.

"We touched on (Lightning's strengths) a little bit, but we were playing our game and they had to beat us.

"We did want a better defensive effort from the whole court and I think we got that tonight as well, so I think that really helped also."

Source: AAP

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