Vixens ruin Layton’s farewell party | Innovation Tech

COLLINGWOOD did cross-town rival Melbourne Vixens no favours as fan favourite Sharni Layton's last home game failed to inspire the struggling Magpies to victory.

Collingwood fell short of Giants 66-56 at Hisense Arena, the visitors locking in their finals spot in the process ahead of the final round of the Super Netball season next weekend.

In an open match where both sides managed to score freely, the Giants made few mistakes and had power duo Jo Harten (36 goals) and Susan Pettitt (30 goals) finishing off their work in the goal circle.

As much noise as the ‘Sharni Army' made, Layton's side was only able to gain the upper hand for two brief periods in the first and third quarters, otherwise proving a level below the finals-bound Giants.

“It's really disappointing not to get a win, your last home game as a whole group and for Sharns as well,” outgoing Magpies coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said.

“But we fought right ‘til the end and there was some good stuff out there. It was patchy like we've seen all year but when they're great, geez they're amazing.”

Caitlin Thwaites (41 goals) and Erin Bell (19 goals) were both solid in the Magpies attack while Madi Robinson again worked tirelessly in mid-court.

Layton paid tribute to the crowd in an emotional post-match , saying she always wanted to be a rock star but playing netball at the highest level was going to be as close as she was going to get.

The Magpies failure to win a quarter would have been a dagger in the hearts of the Vixens, whose finals hopes are now on the rocks after a second-straight loss to West Coast Fever in Perth on Saturday night.

The Vixens sit five points out of the top-four in fifth spot on the ladder meaning they must beat Sunshine Coast Lighting in the final game of the season next Sunday while also winning at least two quarters of that clash — or up to four, depending on other results — to secure the required bonus points to make the finals cut.

The Vixens are also sweating on the fitness of star goal shooter Mwai Kumwenda, who will be further assessed this week after failing to finish the game against the Fever due to a knee injury.

Collingwood tackles fourth-placed Firebirds in its final game of the season in on Saturday.

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