Melbourne Vixens claim ANZ Netball crown
Melbourne Vixens have won the ANZ Netball Championship after defeating Queensland Firebirds in the final.
Last Updated: 22/06/14 2:27pm
Melbourne Vixens claimed the ANZ Netball Championship after holding off a spirited challenge from Queensland Firebirds to win 53-42.
The victory ensured veteran Vixens goaler Cath Cox enjoyed a dream finale to her career in front of a near full house at the Hisense Arena in Melbourne.
Vixens led at every change against the Firebirds, who they defeated in the major semi-final two weeks ago, before pulling clear in the final quarter when they outscored the Firebirds 16-8.
Cox watched on from the bench until the final quarter, when she was brought on at goal shooter in place of Karyn Bailey.
Cox finished with six goals from seven attempts to help secure her second championship, seven years after her first with the New South Wales Swifts.
Vixens goal attack Tegan Caldwell was named the MVP after finishing with 30 goals from 33 attempts.
The Firebirds began the brightest, opening up a 7-4 lead midway through the opening quarter before Caldwell began to have an impact on the game.
The 25-year-old scored nine goals from 10 attempts to help the Vixens take a 13-11 advantage into the first break.
Vixens defenders Mentor and Chatfield managed to restrict Jamaica’s Romelda Aiken to 14 goals from 17 shots in the first half as Melbourne went into the midway break with a narrow 24-22 lead.
Mistakes from Caldwell and Bailey at the start of the third quarter allowed Aiken to bring NSW onto level terms before the pair regained their form, with the Vixens ahead 37-34 going into the final session.
Cox came on for the final 15 minutes of her illustrious career and helped the scoring along.
The Firebirds were unable to respond as they had in previous quarters as they fell to their second successive final defeat, having been beaten by Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2013.