Melbourne Vixens have secured the 2020 Super Netball minor premiership after a 61-53 victory over cross-town rivals Collingwood Magpies.
- The Vixens were crowned minor premiers with two rounds remaining in the regular season
- Caitlin Thwaites (23 points) and Mwai Kumwenda (16 points) played key roles on goal for the Vixens
- The Fever moved up to second position on the standings with an 80-71 defeat of the Swifts
The Vixens overcame a slow start in Brisbane to record their 10th win of the season and lock in top spot on the ladder with two rounds left to play.
In Saturday’s earlier match, West Coast Fever jumped ahead of NSW Swifts into second place on the ladder after beating the defending champions 80-71.
The Vixens, missing star midcourter Liz Watson because of injury, had too much experience and versatility for the Magpies, with captain Kate Moloney the driving force behind the win with 36 feeds, 23 goal assists and two intercepts.
Moloney said the depth of their squad was a key factor in their rise to the top of the standings.
“We’ve seen in our shooting circle or down at our defensive end, whoever we chuck on they’re stepping up and it really is seamless,” Moloney told the Nine Network.
“We definitely need it in such a condensed season as well.”
Looking for just their second win of the season, Collingwood did not make life easy for the Vixens after scoring the first eight goals of the match on their way to a 17-12 lead at quarter-time.
But the Vixens found some momentum after Caitlin Thwaites and Mwai Kumwenda combined for three super shots in the first Power Five period, clicking into gear in the second quarter to outscore the Magpies 18-9.
Leading 30-26 at half-time, the Vixens controlled the tempo in the second half to complete a season sweep against the struggling Magpies.
Thwaites finished with a total of 23 points (19 goals, two super shots) and Kumwenda tallied 16 (12 goals, two super shots).
Shimona Nelson led the scoring for the Magpies with 43 goals.
Fowler dominates in Fever victory
Prolific shooter Jhaniele Fowler set a new Super Netball record for goals in a match in the Fever’s win over a fast-finishing Swifts side.
Records tumbled as the Fever withstood an unprecedented long-range shooting barrage from the defending champions to extend their unbeaten run to six matches.
Having set the record with 66 goals against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2018, Fowler eclipsed her own high mark with 69 goals at almost 96 per cent accuracy.
Fowler’s dominance under the post was a major factor in West Coast building a 17-goal advantage late in the third quarter but Sam Wallace and Sophie Garbin combined to hit seven super shots in the last five minutes to give the Swifts a glimmer of hope.
They cut the Fever’s lead to four by scoring eight of the first 10 goals in the fourth quarter but Fowler stood tall when it counted to secure the win.
Wallace finished with an impressive 10 super shots in her 45-point haul for the Swifts.
The Fever will move to third place and the Swifts to fourth on the ladder if Sunshine Coast Lightning beat Queensland Firebirds on their home court at USC Stadium on Sunday.