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Missed opportunities cost Thunderbirds

March 8, 2015

Melbourne Vixens 48 (Bailey 30/39, Philip 13/21, Dziwoki 5/5)

Adelaide Thunderbirds 39 (Bell 17/25, Borrego 13/25, Brice 9/14)

 

Missed shots have again cost the Adelaide Thunderbirds as they lost to Melbourne Vixens by nine goals today at Hisense Arena, 48-39.

Adelaide finished off the game in similar fashion to last week winning the final quarter 11-10.

The Thunderbirds inability to finish off their opportunities early in the match proving costly for the visiting side.

At the major break the Thunderbirds were just 20 goals from 31 attempts with the Vixens 28/39 leading the way.  

Thunderbrids coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson identified this issue early in the third quarter when Borrego - often a barometer for her side - missed four from her first five attempts, her total of 13/25 was not enough to keep her on the court and she was replaced by NSW youngster Kristina Brice. 

With Brice up front the Thunderbirds seemed to disrupt the ANZ Championship reigning premiers momentum and finished the last half with six more goal attempts.   

The 196cm 20 year old Brice, finished the match with 9/14 and certainly showed potential for the coming weeks. 

Only one goal attempt separated the two teams for the day, the Vixens scoring percentage (74%) was far superior to Adelaide (61%).  

Melbourne Vixens English recruit Geva Mentor believed the match was a hard fought contest despite the nine goal scoreline 48-39. 

"We knew they were going to come out hard obviously after their loss last week and they didn't let up all the way through," Mentor said. 

"Even though the scoreboard didn't probably show that being ten up, they just kept at us all the way, it was really tough out there."

The early loss of Kate Shimmin (ankle) in the warm up gave Amy Steel a full game opportunity and she played well on Tegan Philip (13/21) who was eventually replaced in the last term.  

Thunderbirds goal attack Erin Bell knows her side needs to improve on their efforts to bring their confidence back.  

"I think there were patches of things that were good and obviously things that weren't very good," Bell explained. 

"We let ourselves down at times so we definitely have to work on that. 

"We just have to captalise on the turnovers we get and that does come from confidence and backing yourself so definitely something to work on for us.

Bell was confident her team has the ability to cover for any of the injury concerns they are currently facing but she does admit that it can be disruptive to the balance.   

"Our whole 12 players are strong and we can go on if we need to be the injuries does mix up with the combinations that you're trying to develop when its changing around a lot so we just have to find that balance." 

 

KEY MOMENT:

Maddi Robinson was starting to shine during the second term and was a major part of a Vixens key 4-0 run.  

The Thunderbirds were within five goals (24-19) with 2:38 remaining in the second quarter before the Vixens went on a 4-0 run to break the game open and take a nine goal lead. 

Carla Borrego was able to pinch a late goal to bring the margin back to eight by the major break, but the damage was already done. 

 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: 

Madison Robinson (Melbourne Vixens) 

Robinson was outstanding for the Vixens, her 15 goals assists was seven more than any other player on the court, she was also prominent around the centre court with 18 centre pass receives the most of any player. 

Robinson's experienced pass selection was once again superb from the Australian Diamonds star. 

 

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: 

Kate Shimmin was forced to spend the entire match on the interchange bench after injuring her ankle in the final minutes of the warm up. The 2014 league leader for most blocked shots will be hopeful of a return in next week's match against the Northern Mystics in Adelaide.  

 

THAT CHANGE: 

New South Wales young goal shooter Kristina Brice was rushed into the Thunderbirds line up during the week as a temporary replacement player for Nicola Gray - who is still recovering from a foot injury. 

Brice was called upon to replace Borrego with just three minutes gone in the third term on the back of Borrego's 1/5 attempts for the quarter. 

Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson insisted the team needed to finish off their chances as Borrego's low percentage shooting 13/25 wasn't helping the side

The NSW recruit scored 9/14 and looked a likely target for the Adelaide team. 

 

CONSECUTIVE GOALS:

Melbourne Vixens-

4 goals in a row - 3 times

3 goals in a row - 3 times

Adelaide Thunderbirds-

4 goals in a row - nil

3 goals in a row - 3 times

 

WHAT THEY SAID:

Geva Mentor (Melbourne Vixens)

"We knew they were going to come out hard obviously after their loss last week and they didn't let up all the way through," Mentor said. 

"Even though the scoreboard didn't probably show that being ten up, they just kept at us all the way, it was really tough out there." 

Erin Bell (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

"I think there were patches of things that were good and obviously things that weren't very good," Bell explained. 

"We let ourselves down at times so we definitely have to work on that. 

"We just have to captalise on the turnovers we get and that does come from confidence and backing yourself so definitely something to work on for us.  

"Our whole 12 players are strong and we can go on if we need to be the injuries does mix up with the combinations that you're trying to develop when its changing around a lot so we just have to find that balance." 

 

Images: Peter Argent - Copyright Our Sporting Life SA

 

 

 

 

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