Final quarter fade out sees Adelaide win bird battle
THE Adelaide Thunderbirds have come away with a confidence boosting round one win on the road, after they downed the Queensland Firebirds 59 goals to 44.
The two teams were tight through three quarters before the Thunderbirds blew open the game in the last quarter to win in Queensland for the first time in four seasons.
Teams traded blows for the first four goals of the match, but after a stellar intercept from Mia Stower the Firebirds were able to pinch the first goal off an opposition centre pass for the game. However the Thunderbirds pinched a goal off the very next centre pass to level things back up again.
Thanks to some excellent intercept work from Shamera Sterling the Thunderbirds were the first to break the goal for goal trend to the beginning of the match, and her work in the air was proving to be a real headache for the Firebirds.
The Firebirds then called a time out, and things started to turn around as they really started to take their chances with the turnovers.
They worked their way back into the match with seven unanswered goals to level things up and take the lead and establish a four goal buffer.
The Thunderbirds then stemmed the tide with an Eleanor Cardwell super shot to cut the margin in half.
Cardwell went for two in a row but missed, and then Donnell Wallam converted from super shot range down the other end to extend the scoreboard advantage back out again.
Cardwell then continued the run of consecutive super shot to halve the margin, before Wallam responded to take the margin back out to three.
Lucy Austin landed one final shot just before the siren to see the margin at two in favour of the home side at the first change.
The Firebirds started the second quarter where they left off, really making the most of some silly errors from their visitors and going on a six-goal-to-none run to start the second quarter.
The Thunderbirds then rejigged their entire line up in the hope that they could things turn around and managed to peg one back but still seemed really nervous in attack.
As the Power Five drew near though, the Thunderbirds crawled their way back into the match, with the margin at four as it began.
The Thunderbirds landed two Super Shots in a row, and suddenly the margin was down to two, and then they worked their way to draw level, but the Firebirds shot one final goal to lead by a solitary goal at the main break.
Adelaide was the team to get the better start in the third term, piling on four unanswered goals to take the lead.
The Thunderbirds’ lead got out to as much as three, but the home side worked their way back into the match to level proceedings up again.
Adelaide restored its lead before the Firebirds levelled things up once again, and then the Thunderbirds got away to a lead again and held a three-goal lead at the final change.
After competing so well all day, the Firebirds really fell away in the last quarter as things started to all come a part for them.
Wayward passing and simple shots missed crept in as nothing seemed to go right for the girls in purple.
An eight-goal-to-one start to the term saw the margin jump out to as much as 10 goals, and things just got better from there for the Thunderbirds.
The scoreline for the final quarter read 19 goals to seven as Adelaide blew open the game and came away with a confidence boosting win.
It was the usual suspects who starred for the Thunderbirds.
Sterling’s end stats figures were particularly impressive, finishing with a massive 11 gains, 12 deflections, five intercepts and four rebounds in a dominant display.
Cardwell slotted in seamlessly in the attack end, finishing with only two regular shot misses and nailing three super shots.
Meanwhile for the Firebirds the new defensive combination of Ruby Bakewell-Doran (six gains, four deflections, two intercepts, three rebounds, two intercepts) and Remi Kamo (six gains, six rebounds, five deflections) was impressive and worked well.
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 17 | 11 | 9 | 7 (44)
ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 15 | 12 | 13 | 19 (59)
GS: Donnell Wallam
GA: Mia Stower
WA: Lara Dunkley
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: Ruby Bakewell-Doran
GK: Remi Kamo
GS: Lucy Austin
GA: Eleanor Cardwell
WA: Georgie Horjus
C: Maisie Nankivell
WD: Hannah Petty
GD: Latanya Wilson
GK: Shamera Sterling