Liz Watson of the Vixens (left) and Ashleigh Brazill of the Magpies collide.
Liz Watson of the Vixens (left) and Ashleigh Brazill of the Magpies collide.

Vixens run down Magpies in derby

COLLINGWOOD'S finals hopes hang in the balance after they were overrun in Sunday's Super Netball derby against the Melbourne Vixens.

The Vixens charged home, led by in-form shooter Mwai Kumwenda, at Margaret Court Arena to record a 65-57 victory and keep their season on track with back-to-back wins.

Despite a rampant first half from the Magpies that saw the hosts lead by seven goals early, the Vixens' blistering speed and ability to capitalise on even the most minor of errors allowed them to pounce.

And it was Liz Watson who shone, with 29 goal assists and a whopping 37 feed passes into attack for the game.

And to do it against the Magpies, she said, made it extra special.

"Maybe, I guess in Melbourne there is that bit of rivalry. It is always tough no matter what has happened in the season, no matter where we are positioned on the ladder there is that grudge against them," Watson said.

"(We're) pleased with how it went."

Watson was closely followed by Collingwood's cross-coder Ash Brazill for most of the afternoon, with neither player giving up an inch.

Mwai Kumwenda tries to save the ball from going out of play. Picture: AAP
Mwai Kumwenda tries to save the ball from going out of play. Picture: AAP

Watson said the Vixens are determined to finish the season strongly "starting the season a little bit slow".

"We are starting to find form," she said.

"When your team is playing well that's generally when you play well."

Collingwood skipper Madi Robinson and Renae Ingles know each other's game inside out, having served as one another's bridesmaid in recent years, but there was no room for friendship as the returning star got the last laugh in her fourth game back on the court.

It was a physical contest between the pair, whose close friendship was put on hold for an hour as they went head-to-head at Margaret Court Arena.

 

Key defender Sharni Layton, who the Magpies said had been ill during the week, was thrown into the action for the final quarter after Matilda Garrett and April Brandley had worked in tandem to negate the Vixens attack, standing firm for the first half.

Mwai Kumwenda was in outstanding form under the net. Picture: AAP
Mwai Kumwenda was in outstanding form under the net. Picture: AAP

There was little the Vixens could do about Magpies goal shooter Caitlin Thwaites, with the superstar scorer delivering a near blemish-free 49 goals.

Thwaites' workrate proved blistering for the Magpies and her speed unstoppable, her class evident, but Kumwenda's second half,  that produced 42 goals, proved something special.

Vixen Emily Mannix was forced from the court with an apparent dislocated finger and was ably replaced by Kadie-Ann Dehaney who delivered some glimpses of brilliance.

Both sides recorded two bonus points in the clash.