McAuliffe Shines In Lightning Victory

The tireless work of a Wing Defence often goes without praise or reward but Maddy McAuliffe’s command performance against Melbourne Vixens on Sunday demanded attention.

In addition to contributing to Sunshine Coast Lightning’s 5-goal win, her consistent defensive efforts led the 25-year-old to receive her first Player of the Match honours.

Lightning carried an 11 goal lead into half time but a determined Vixens outfit chipped away at the margin in the second half.

McAuliffe gave credit to the Vixens but said she remained confident that her teammates would be able to withstand the late comeback and secure the 4 points.

“The legs were getting pretty tired towards the end that’s for sure,” McAuliffe told Channel 9 post match.

“I think the attack end stayed really composed during that time and defensively we were able to pick up some really important balls and start getting some rebounds.

“Full credit to the Vixens, they came out and put threw something different at us and you can’t look past that.

“I think we’ll look at the full game, really take what we can out of it and move onto next week.”

Lightning will be seeking redemption when they face West Coast Fever on Saturday in their first home game of the season.

Fever defeated Lightning on 3 occasions last season by at least 14 goals, including the knock-out Preliminary final.

McAuliffe said the team will approach the Fever clash with the utmost respect for their opponents, but the central theme at training will remain largely on Lightning’s own game strategy.

“West Coast Fever are a quality side and they got the better of us in 2020, so it will definitely be a hard week at training,” she said.

“But I think the focus is still on us.

“It’s still too early to see what teams are bringing so back to the drawing board and see what happens.”