Magic day for Waikato 22 Jul 2012
Veteran Irene van Dyk inspired the victory, the 40-year-old scoring 25 goals from 26 attempts including the final score of the match.
Defeat was cruel on the Vixens – the 2012 minor premiers – but they did not score with the same efficiency as their opponents, with Karyn Howarth (22/29) and Tegan Caldwell (16/26) the culprits for the losers.
The Magic – who entered the match on the back of a 12-match winning streak – looked to silence a capacity crowd at Hisense Arena in Melbourne but the game failed to reach any heights in a tense first quarter.
The Vixens were the dominant side in the second quarter but Howarth and Caldwell, normally such terrific scorers, failed to convert their opportunities as they led 22-18 at half-time when in truth they should have been further ahead.
Melbourne opened out their lead to six goals in the third quarter but van Dyk's brilliance, Laura Langman's efforts in the middle of court and some handy work from Julianna Naoupu (16/24) helped the Magic stay in touch.
They were within three goals at three-quarter time and the New Zealanders carried that momentum into the final term, levelling the scores with six minutes to go thanks to a goal from Naoupu.
Naoupu then gave the Magic the lead and it was one they never relinquished as they made amends for two previous Grand Final defeats in the ANZ Championship with a superb victory.
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