Vixens eyeing second netball title
Just a game away from their second trans-Tasman netball crown the Melbourne Vixens say they’ve earnt it after a rocky start to the season.
The side was floored pre-season with news that former Australian skipper Sharelle McMahon, would be withdrawing from the squad because she was pregnant.
They also lost her mid-season in 2011 when she snapped her Achilles tendon with the team then unable to fully recover.
But young players like Tegan Caldwell and Karyn Howarth have this time stepped up in the goal circle in her absence while the Vixens defence, including skipper Bianca Chatfield, Julie Corletto and Geva Mentor, has proven to be the best in the competition.
Chatfield said her players had used McMahon’s absence as an opportunity to shine.
“Last year when we lost her our attack end were very anxious and nervous about taking on her role within the team,” she said.
“This year they’ve stood up and have been incredible, we’re so proud of what they’ve been able to do,” said Chatfield.
She said the Vixens, who won the ANZ Championship crown in 2009, had worked non-stop to get another crack at the title.
They would be the first team to win two since the competition started in 2008.
“We’ve come from a position where we’ve been through so many ups and downs and this year we’ve really been able to stick tough together and believe in what we can do and get to where we are,” Chatfield said.
“I want to win it to reward everyone around us and those who’ve worked hard with us.”
The Vixens won the right to host the main decider at Hisense Arena on Sunday with a stirring six point win in their semi-final against the Mystics from New Zealand.
They clawed their way back from a six-goal deficit at the start of the third quarter to take the match.
Melbourne will either again face the Mystics, from Auckland, or the Magic, from the Waikato region, with those teams playing in the preliminary final in New Zealand on Monday night.
The Mystics lost last year’s grand final to the Queensland Firebirds.© AAP 2013
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