Lightning upset Vixens as round provides plenty of questions

THE Sunshine Coast Lightning has caused one of the upsets of the season, downing the previously undefeated Melbourne Vixens to 64 goals to 57 to hand the Vixens their first loss of the year.

Sunshine Coast really benefitted from multiple strong starts to quarters, and held firm against whatever the Vixens threw at them to take the win.

The Lightning were quick out of the gates, and perhaps emboldened by facing a depleted opposition scored the first six goals of the game.

Once the Vixens did finally get their first goal on the board though things finally started to click and the margin was quickly halved, and then eventually down to as low as one.

Jo Weston was a woman on a mission defence, and with one swish of a Super Shot from Sophie Garbin, the lead was the home side’s.

The Vixens were really starting to find their groove as the quarter progressed, and with Kiera Austin finding her groove from Super Shot range, the Vixens held a five goal lead as the quarter came to a close.

The Lightning got off to another good start in the second term, and quickly eliminated the deficit and took the lead inside the first few minutes of the term.  

With Ash Ervin picking up key intercepts and Cara Koenen having seemingly recovered from her earlier yips under the net, things were building nicely again for the visitors despite the small margin.

The margin continued to hover around the three goal range for much of the quarter, but it ultimately sat at four in the Lightning’s favour at the main break.

There were turnovers aplenty to start the second half, with the energy and intensity high from both sides.

While neither team seemed to be properly settled, it was the Vixens who were doing better on the scoreboard, and as such levelled up the score just before the Power Five.

The visitors however did pull away late in the term to take a three goal lead into the final change.

The Lightning again got off to the better start in the final term, and with seven of the first eight goals of the term their lead was out to nine goals.

The Vixens continued to toggle with their on court line up, but no matter how hard they tried, they just could not seem to find the combination that would give them the spark to shrink the deficit.

Garbin and Austin and their Super Shots really tried to keep the home side in the match late, but up the other end Koenen and Steph Fretwell were showing their years of experience and continued to keep level heads and did not let their side fully blow their lead.

Ultimately the deficit was too great for the Vixens to real back in, handing them their first loss of 2024 and breaking the Lightning’s losing run in the process.

In other results:

  • The West Coast Fever are breathing a sigh of relief after beating the Adelaide Thunderbirds by one goal to be the last undefeated team this season.

After the Thunderbirds took the lead in the second term, the Fever fought back and withstood all that the Thunderbirds threw at them to take the win.

Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard only missed one shot all night for the Fever, while Jordan Cransberg impressed through mid court.

Meanwhile for once it was Tayla Williams who led the gains for the Thunderbids, while Georgie Horjus continued to star out at both wing attack and goal attack.

  • The Melbourne Mavericks have picked up their second win of their history with a seven goal win over the Queensland Firebirds.

A six goal lead to the Mavericks at quarter time was a sign of things to come, with the visitors continuing to build their lead to a point of where when the Firebirds finally fought back in the final term, it was of little to no avail.

Molly Jovic had a really productive game for the Mavericks, as did Shimona Jok.

Meanwhile for the Firebirds Macy Gardner impressed through midcourt, as did Remi Kamo in defence.

  • The final match of the weekend saw the NSW Swifts earn a big win over their crosstown rivals the GIANTS to the tune of 24 goals.

The margin was only three goals at quarter time, but as the game progressed the GIANTS dropped off and the margin blew out.

Paige Hadley had a huge game in mid court for the Swifts, as did Lili Gorman-Brown.

Meanwhile Matilda McDonell had a good game in defence for the GIANTS, as did Amy Sligar.

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