Fever pitched game sees West Coast return to the winners list

THE West Coast Fever are back on the winners list after a solid 69-65 win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the Suncorp Super Netball yesterday. In a seesawing match of momentum, the Fever ultimately proved too strong.

It was the Lightning who were the first to pinch a goal off the opposition centre pass, but they were unable to consolidate as the Fever pinched one back off the very next centre pass. This seemed to spark something in the Fever as they then rushed out to as much as four goals ahead, before the Lightning came back and reduced the margin down to two.

The Fever then rallied again late in the quarter to steam ahead on the scoreboard with some really smooth transition down the court. West Coast ultimately took a seven-goal lead into the first change.

It was the Lightning who got the stronger start to the second quarter, and as such dropped the margin by two goals. It was a slow scoring start to the quarter though, with goals coming at only about one a minute. However as the quarter progressed things tightened up and the Lightning were unable to get any closer on the scoreboard.

The Lightning tried to bring the margin even closer but could not get the crucial Super Shots to drop. The Fever retook momentum and control late in the term and to rub salt into the wound for their opponents they managed to land the Super Shots the Lightning were unable to.

With a couple of big Super Shots from Sasha Glasgow to end the quarter, the Fever took a 10-goal lead into the main break. As Jhaniele Fowler brought up her 5,000th goal in the SSN competition the Fever extended their lead out even further early in the third term.

But then the Lightning lifted and even managed to get the margin down to as little as seven goals. With a Steph Wood Super Shot momentum was with the visitors and the margin was down as low as four goals.

Glasgow briefly took momentum back for the Fever with a Super Shot of her own, but then Wood countered with another Super Shot to restore momentum for the visitors. The Fever then rallied in the final few moments though to take another seven goal lead into the final change.

West Coast started the last quarter strong, and scored double the number of goals that the Lightning did early in the last to restore a double-digit lead. In the shadows of the Power Five commencing, the Lightning really rung the changes – including bringing Karla Pretorius out to wing defence – to try and change up the narrative.

Although not straight away, the Lightning did eventually rally momentum and got within four goals.

The Fever tried to kill some time but gave the ball away to the Lightning, who ultimately scored a Super Shot and brought the margin back to three goals. However the Lightning ran out of time to bring the deficit down any further and with one last goal to the Fever they held on for the win.

Alice Teague-Neeld (35 feeds, 25 assists, four deflections, three gains, two intercepts) had a big game for the Fever in her milestone match, as did Courtney Bruce (seven deflections, four gains, three rebounds, one intercept).

Meanwhile for the visitors, Mahalia Cassidy (57 feeds, 18 assists, two gains, two intercepts, one deflection) really made the most of a rare full game in centre, while Ash Ervin (three gains, three deflections, two intercepts) really made the most of her first start of the season and certainly put up a solid challenge for Fowler to contend with. 

WEST COAST FEVER                      20 | 17 | 18 | 14 (69)
SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING     13 | 14 | 21 | 17 (65)


West Coast Fever

GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Sasha Glasgow
WA: Alice Teague-Neeld
C: Verity Simmons
WD: Jess Anstiss
GD: Sunday Aryang
GK: Courtney Bruce

Sunshine Coast Lightning

GS: Cara Koenen
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Laura Scherian
C: Mahalia Cassidy
WD: Ava Black
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Ash Ervin

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