Melbourne Vixens to host trans-Tasman final
The Melbourne Vixens will host the 2014 trans-Tasman netball grand final after holding off the Queensland Firebirds in their major semi-final on Monday night.
The minor premiers never conceded the lead in the 52-47 victory at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, but the Firebirds proved a constant threat to the home team.
The Vixens get a week off before the decider, while the Firebirds will host the preliminary final against the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, who pipped the NSW Swifts by just one goal on Sunday.
Both sides started nervously with errors, wild passes and poor goal-shooting accuracy punctuating the opening exchanges.
The Vixens soon settled, with Madi Robinson, Liz Watson and Kate Moloney in the mid-court giving better delivery to shooters Karyn Bailey (25 goals from 29 attempts) and Tegan Caldwell (27 from 36).
At the other end, the Vixens' defenders Geva Mentor and Bianca Chatfield were able to get their hands on enough ball to cut down the supply to Firebirds shooters Romelda Aiken (35 from 41) and Amy Wild (12 from 15).
At quarter time, the Vixens led 16-9 and appeared in control.
But the Firebirds lifted and with better work in the mid-court and patience in their all-court defence, they slowly worked their way back into the match.
Midway through the third quarter, they trailed by just two goals and appeared to have the momentum.
The Vixens responded to the pressure, scoring six of the next seven goals, with Caldwell sinking several long-range shots to restore control for the Vixens.