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Vixens down Magic in trans-Tasman netball

NZN 1/05/2016

The Melbourne Vixens have come out on top in their first trans-Tasman challenge of the netball season after defeating the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 57-34 at Hisense Arena on Sunday.

Goal shooter Kimberly Commane top scored for the home side with 25 goals from 29 attempts after being injected into the game just before halftime.

Rookie Alice Teegue-Neeld (19 from 27 attempts) also turned in an admirable display against veteran Silver Ferns defender Leana De Bruin for much of the game, a highly-decorated international player 18 years her senior.

A fast and physical match also showcased the prowess of the Vixens star defensive pairing of English international Geva Mentor and Diamonds defender Jo Weston, who had the better of the Magic shooters from the get go.

With both teams coming off a bye it took three and a half minutes for the first goal of the game to be scored as the sides struggled to find their space and accuracy.

Vixens shooter Emma Ryde (13 goals from 20 attempts) used her 197cm height to her advantage and slotted the first of six unanswered goals for the home side.

The Magic were having early trouble feeding the ball into their shooters, twice being called for held ball, but after being held scoreless for the first half of the opening quarter they fought back admirably to be 6-7 down.

However the Vixens continued to opt for the high ball into Ryde and took a 13-8 lead into the first break.

The Magic shooters upped their physicality in the second quarter but the Vixens defensive pairing of Mentor and Weston had the better of their opponents.

Shooter Commane was subbed on for Ryde with the scores at 21-13 to the Vixens toward the end of the second half.

Commane confidently shot goals from all around the circle and regularly found space under the post.

Vixens took a 10-goal lead into the main break, leading 25-15 and extended their advantage to an unassailable 17-goal lead at three-quarter time (42-25).

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