GIANTS grind out gutsy win

THE GIANTS have ground out a crucial 70-64 win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning in a crucial game for their top four hopes.

It was a tough and tight tussle for much of the match, but the GIANTS pulled away at the right time to earn the win.

The Lightning started strongly in the opening term and managed to get three goals on the board before the GIANTS got their first, and were already five goals in front inside the opening five minutes of the term. Led from the front by Cara Koenen and Steph Wood, the Lightning were playing a class above their opponents.

After a quick regroup and a defensive spark from Amy Parmenter, the GIANTS found a little bit of a spark. Even with some at times dicey passing the GIANTS slowly ate away at the deficit, and got to within two goals.

The GIANTS eventually took the lead in the Power Five as Matisse Letherbarrow and then Sophie Dwyer found some confidence from range, rewarding a defensive end that had found some new life.

The GIANTS got to as much as three goals ahead, but a late Super Shot and regular goal saw the Lightning ensure the scores were even at the first change.

Despite the Lightning spicing things up with their on court line-up in the second court by moving Wood to wing attack, things stayed really even for both sides. The game’s scoring rate dropped drastically, with the first few minutes seeing only about one goal per minute. The score rate did eventually pick up, but neither side could shake off the other.

Eventually there was a mini break from the GIANTS, but the home side were unable to get more than two goals ahead. This came to a head just before the Power Five when the Lightning managed to sneak ahead, but the GIANTS were hungry and kept fighting, and as such drew level again in the final minute of the term.

A late goal from the Lightning though saw them take the lead by the narrowest of margins into the main break. Sunshine Coast was the team to take the lead early in the third term, but it could hardly rest on its laurels as the GIANTS came right back at them.

The Lightning were out by three, but then Letherbarrow’s third Super Shot for the game saw the margin suddenly back at one. However the fightback was short lived as the Lightning regrew their lead. They got out to as much as four goals but some on target Super Shot shooting from the GIANTS saw that lead evaporate in seconds. The Lightning briefly then took the lead again before a last second Super Shot saw the GIANTS take the narrowest of leads into the final change.

The GIANTS got the better of the starts to the final term, and as such took the early lead, but as it had been for much of the game the GIANTS could not rest on their laurels as the Lightning came right back at them. However the GIANTS recovered to restore their earlier lead, but it was only four goals and on the eve of the Power Five, so hardly a safe lead.

Things then just started to fail the Lightning at the absolute worst time. They missed several Super Shot attempts and then with two minutes to go Koenen went down with injury, and then one last Super Shot was the cherry on the cake for the GIANTS as they recorded a crucial win.

For the GIANTS Parmenter (seven deflections, five gains, three intercepts) had a particularly strong game, as did Jamie-Lee Price (21 feeds, 14 assists, five deflections, one gain).

Meanwhile for the Lightning Laura Scherian (25 feeds, 14 assists) played well, while despite coming off injured late Koenen still finished with a whopping seven rebounds.

GIANTS NETBALL                            16 | 14 | 21 | 19 (70)
SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING     16 | 15 | 19 | 14 (64)


GIANTS Netball

GS: Matisse Letherbarrow
GA: Sophie Dwyer
WA: Maddie Hay
C: Jamie-Lee Price
WD: Amy Parmenter
GD: April Brandley
GK: Lauren Moore

Sunshine Coast Lightning

GS: Cara Koenen
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Annie Miller
C: Laura Scherian
WD: Mahalia Cassidy
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Kadie-Ann Dehaney

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