Melbourne Vixens and TLA netballers crowned Super Netball Champions
The Melbourne Vixens have been crowned 2020 Super Netball Champions, with TLA netballers Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Tegan Philip and Caitlin Thwaites leading the team to victory over the West Coast Fever 66-64 in a nail-biting grand final.
The tough, grinding game played in Brisbane was the culmination of a season like no other, that ended with Melbourne sealing their first netball national league title since 2014.
Leading from the front Vixens’ co-captain Liz Watson was joyous in her reflections of the season and the challenges they faced since the group moved to Queensland in August.
“I think in my career so far all the seasons seem to merge into one, but this one’s definitely going to stand out, not just because of this Premiership but because of the whole year,” Watson told melbournevixens.com.au
“We’ve become super close on and off the court, and to finish it off – it’s satisfaction, relief, you can breathe and then we can kind of just relax now…so it’s been unreal.”
For Philip and Thwaites, it was the fairytale finish to their professional netball careers, both retiring from the game after making the announcement on the eve of the finals series.
Thwaites, playing her 232nd and final national league game, said her ability to compartmentalise the emotion surrounding the match and her retirement was key to the success they shared.
“I’ve always known that I’ve had a really good ability to compartmentalise, and that’s through managing my mental health and things like that, and being able to switch off and cross the line and go, ‘I’ve got a job to do’,” Thwaites said.
“I think there will be moments of emotion that kind of spill over in the next little bit, but I couldn’t be prouder of what this team has overcome to get here and I think unless you’ve been a part of it and known the ins and outs, it’s a pretty incredible feat to have got this far this year.”
Cover image courtesy: Melbourne Vixens