Magpies grind out netball win over Vixens

Collingwood Magpies have stayed alive in the Super Netball semi-final race by defeating rivals Melbourne Vixens 52-48 in Adelaide.

Collingwood Magpies have capped a whirlwind 48 hours for Super Netball by defeating Melbourne Vixens 52-48 at Netball SA Stadium as the competition scrambles to complete their season.

The two Melbourne clubs, along with Sydney counterparts NSW Swifts and Giants, were forced to relocate to South Australia on Thursday as COVID restrictions in NSW and Victoria threatened to bring the competition to a halt.

Melbourne held a two-goal advantage after a scrappy opening half on Saturday that saw the teams rack up 34 combined turnovers, with dominant play from opposing defenders Jodi-Ann Ward and Jo Weston providing many of the highlights.

But Collingwood inched their way to a 39-38 lead by the close of the third period, then shut down the Vixens' attack in the final quarter to win their fourth game of the season and stay alive in the race for fourth spot on the ladder.

"I think we just have to grind it out week by week. It's very unpredictable at the moment with who we are going to play and where we are going to play," Ward said after the win as the league battles to reschedule the remaining three rounds of the regular season.

The Jamaican international compiled eight deflections, eight gains and three intercepts as Collingwood's zone defence continually disrupted Melbourne's attacking flow to inspire their third ever win over their crosstown rivals.

The result also sees the Magpies complete a season sweep over the Vixens for the first time, backing up their 16-goal win in round seven.

"We've just been mixing it up, we haven't stuck to one structure because I feel like whenever we do that, we get predictable. I think it worked really well for us," Ward said about her side's defensive tactics.

While Collingwood committed more general play turnovers than the Vixens, the efficiency of goal scorers Shimona Nelson (37/37) and Gabi Sinclair (14/17) proved the difference by finishing at 94 per cent shooting accuracy compared to 79 per cent for Melbourne.

Despite the efforts of Weston and the continued development of 20-year-old midcourter Hannah Mundy (32 feeds, 17 goal assists), the defending champions remain anchored to the bottom of the ladder with a 2-8 record.