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Netball: Adelaide Thunderbirds defeat Melbourne Vixens 59-50

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Better late than never, the Adelaide Thunderbirds have pegged a 59-50 marker against the Melbourne Vixens to offer an encouraging glimpse of better times ahead.

The victory, on foreign territory for both sides at Brisbane's Nissan Arena, made no impact on the top four, with the Thunderbirds and Vixens out of finals reckoning before the penultimate round. It should, however, feed the Thunderbirds' confidence during the off-season, with Georgie Horjus leading her side to their fifth win for the season.

The 19-year-old goal attack sank 15 points and would have had more but for a cameo at wing attack in the last quarter.

Her circle partner Lenize Potgieter scored 43 goals at 100 per cent accuracy as the South Australians added a second scalp against the Vixens to a season of ups and downs that included success against the Lightning, Swifts and Magpies.

Horjus said the motivation of playing against Diamonds stars such as Jo Weston drove her to another level.

"Coming up against some of those Australian girls can be daunting but I love the challenge," she said.

It was a flat note for the Vixens who had much to play for in defender Weston's 100th game.

Coach Simone McKinnis lamented her side's poor work rate in transition and suggested the looming wooden spoon would drive the team to greater performances next season.

"The results themselves will give some spark because the players will want to make amends," she said.

Emily Mannix could not have done more to haul her side out of the doldrums. The former Diamonds goal keeper produced one of the most dynamic halves by a defender this season.

Tackling one of the world's premier shooters, the Thunderbirds' Potgieter, Mannix had four intercepts and just as many deflections in her first 30 minutes on court. She finished the game with seven gains.

Mysteriously, McKinnis benched the in-form defender midway through the third quarter as the side lost their grip on the contest.

The Vixens' troubles lay elsewhere. Despite the effectiveness of their defensive end, the Vixens converted as few as one-in-three of those hard-won opportunities. Adelaide led 29-24 at halftime then surged ahead by as much as 14 in the decisive third term.

Score Breakdown

Q1: Thunderbirds 15 v Vixens 13

Q2: Thunderbirds 14 v Vixens 11

Q3: Thunderbirds 18 v Vixens 12

Q4: Thunderbirds 12 v Vixens 14

 

Player of the Match: Georgie Horjus (Thunderbirds)

 

Vixens Shooting Statistics:

Mwai Kumwenda: 38/44 - 86.4%, G1: 34/36, G2: 4/8, Total Points: 42

Kaylia Stanton: 5/8 - 62.5%, G1: 4/6, G2: 1/2, Total Points: 6

Ruby Barkmeyer: 1/3 - 33%, G1: 1/3, G2: 0/1, Total Points: 1

Thunderbirds Shooting Statistics:

Lenize Potgieter: 43/43 - 100%, G1: 43/43, G2: 0/0, Total Points: 43

Georgie Horjus: 14/15 - 93.1%, G1: 13/13, G2: 1/2, Total Points: 15

Sam Gooden: 1/1 - 100%, G1: 1/1, G2: 0/0, Total Points: 1

 

Vixens Starting Seven: GS: Mwai Kumwenda, GA: Kaylia Stanton, WA: Hannah Mundy, C: Kate Moloney (C), WD: Kate Eddy, GD: Jo Weston, GK: Emily Mannix

Thunderbirds Starting Seven: GS: Lenize Potgieter GA: Georgie Horjus WA: Maisie Nankivell C: Hannah Petty (C) WD: Shadine van der Merwe GD: Matilda Garrett GK: Shamera Sterling