With some teams playing as though they had nothing to lose, and others like everything was on the line, round 13 Super Netball was laced with intrigue and exhilaration.
VIXENS V LIGHTNING (55 – 56)
The Sunshine Coats Lightning beat the Melbourne Vixens by just one point in a thriller on Sunday afternoon
In front of a stunned Melbourne Arena, Stephanie Wood sealed the deal for her side with just three seconds remaining.
The Vixens fired early, getting out to a seven-point lead in the first half.
However, they failed to maintain their trademark sharp and attacking game style in the second half, losing their convincing lead.
With the two sides were neck in neck throughout the second half, it wasn’t until the 12th minute of the final term the Lighting constructed a two-goal lead.
A series of turnovers and penalties in the final seconds meant the game could have gone either way.
Yet, lucky for the Noeline Taurua’s side, the final whistle blew when it did, securing them top ladder position.
Whilst the win effectively crowned Lightning as the competition’s comeback queens, it also proved they can win under pressure – an important attribute come finals.
Captain Laura Langman was inspirational for her side, setting a relentless tone for her teammates in the final few minutes.
“It showed tonight both teams really wanted it and another 30 seconds it could have been a different story,” Langman said post-match
The loss means the Vixens have blown the opportunity to finish in the top two, sacrificing a double chance.
Yet, the clash was a tantalising taste of what may be to come in the impending finals series – with just one round to go, both sides are just gearing up.