Green reaches 200 milestone as McDonell makes her elite debut
GIANTS Netball travelled to Melbourne to face the Vixens today and, while the result went the Vixens’ way (45-61), it was still a special game as captain Kim Green played her 200th elite match and Matilda McDonell made her elite netball debut.
GIANTS started the game in control of the first centre pass, with Caitlin Bassett (GS) converting under the post. The new combination of Bassett and Jo Harten (GA) showed great signs that they are starting to find the right chemistry, with Bassett looking comfortable in the circle. Amy Parmenter (C) and Green (WA) worked hard in the GIANTS end to create opportunities for Bassett and Harten, with some impressive feeds from both.
On the other end of the court, Kristiana Manu’a (GD) and Sam Poolman (GK) kept Tegan Philip (GA) and Caitlin Thwaites (GS) on their toes, with Poolman acting fast on the rebound and Manu’a playing tight defence. Jamie-Lee Price (WD) and Parmenter added to the GIANTS defensive pressure, with both using speed and elevation to their advantage. While GIANTS took the lead early and looked like they had bounced back well from last week’s loss, Vixens were able to take control back at the end of the quarter to secure the first bonus point and go up by six points (10-16).
In the second quarter, the Vixens proved to be a tough competitor, but it was the GIANTS being unable to convert on opportunities and some unfortunate giveaways that were most to their detriment. Price was steady for GIANTS in defence with her ability to be everywhere across the midcourt. Harten worked hard to create options, throwing her body across the court to get a few deflections and showcased why many say she is the most defensive minded shooter in the league.
When skipper Green went down and was taken off court, Kiera Austin came on as a replacement in WA and immediately stepped up to the plate, with her smart and fast play allowing for a seamless transition. Meanwhile, Harten directed play with assurance and worked hard to open up opportunities for the team. Poolman and Manu’a didn’t let up the pressure in the defensive end, with Manu’a taking some impressive intercepts and Poolman quick to collect rebounds. Unfortunately, Vixens increased their lead and took the second bonus point to finish the quarter up by nine goals (21-30).
Green returned to the match in the third quarter with the Centre bib on and had an impact on the flow of the game in the centre court. Austin continued to feed Bassett well under the post, with Green also contributing key passes, and Manu’a was a standout in the defensive end with skilled intercepts and a relentless drive. Vixens again took the bonus point and went up 31-45.
McDonell made her elite netball debut as GIANT #17 in the fourth quarter, coming on as GD, with Manu’a moving to GK. The two defenders were a good combination and communicated well to make Thwaites and Philip work hard for every goal. McDonell was unfazed to come up against Philip and she displayed exciting promise with her long reach and boundless energy. While GIANTS continued to make some unfortunate giveaways and failed to convert on opportunities, overall it was the closest of the quarters. Ultimately though, GIANTS were unable to come back and the Vixens took the final bonus point and the match 45-61.