Reigning premiers power on

The Melbourne Vixens gone down to the Queensland Firebirds (47-58) in Round 3 of the ANZ Championship at Hisense Arena.

It was a strong start for the Firebirds, with star import Romelda Aiken opening up a three-goal lead early in the game. However, Vixen’s Emma Ryde and Alice Teague-Neeld helped them fight back to 9-all midway through the first quarter with some strong work in the circle.

The resilient Vixens showed they were up for the challenge with an evenly contested first half. Geva Mentor was tested up against Aiken in the second quarter, but it was Mentor’s two intercepts that helped keep the hosts in the game leading into halftime.

Kim Commane replaced young-gun Alice Teague-Neeld mid-way through the 3rd quarter, making an instant impact on the scoreboard for the Vixens. However, the Firebirds out-scored the Vixens to hold a 46-35 lead at the last break.

The defending champions had to show all their class and composure to eventually fend off a stirring final quarter effort by the never-say-die Vixens. In the final minutes of play, the Vixens fought back to get within seven goals of the lead, before the Firebirds cruised to an 11-goal victory.