New look Lightning strike Giant opening blow
A new look Sunshine Coast Lightning side have absolutely dominated their way to a Round 1 win, downing the GIANTS 66 goals to 50.
The much improved Lightning side looked and played much differently to the one fans saw in 2022, and after blowing the game open in the second term never looked back. Thanks to some slippery fingers from the GIANTS in attack, the Lightning were able to strike early and pinch a goal off the first centre pass, and then consolidated their lead off their own centre pass.
The GIANTS seemed to have the jitters early while the Lightning were looking calm and composed and were benefitting from that on the scoreboard. The home side had four on the board before the GIANTS had their first.
That early run helped the Lightning maintain a healthy lead right through the front half of the quarter, which got out to as much as six goals.
The Lightning lead was five at the beginning of the Power Five, but back to back Super Shots from the GIANTS quickly saw that margin down to one.
The GIANTS took the lead halfway through the Power Five, but then Steph Wood nailed her first super shot to take the lead back for her side.
Sunshine Coast then properly re-established a buffer and ultimately took a three goal lead into the first change.
Although it was an even beginning to the second quarter, the Lightning were able to maintain their lead and even increase it slightly.
As the quarter progressed though, things started to fall a part a bit for the GIANTS as the Lightning blew open the game.
One thing that was not helping the GIANTS was that they were not getting a lot of attacking movement on the first phase from either Amy Sligar at wing attack or Sophie Dwyer at goal attack, which was forcing Jamie-Lee Price to go back to Amy Parmenter and April Brandley to try and drive some forward momentum.
Meanwhile, the Lightning were quick but composed heading down the court, and largely thanks to the likes of Mahalia Cassidy and Annie Miller were ensuring that Wood and Cara Koenen had the ball in their hands in a flash.
But the forward momentum was all starting from Kadie-Ann Dehaney, who was benefitting from the calming, level headed presence of Karla Pretorius and playing with a lot more confidence than she had last year.
As the Power Five neared, the Lightning has extended their lead out to as much as 11 goals and it got out to 12 in the Power Five.
A couple of Super Shots from the GIANTS saw the margin drop to eight at one point, but at the main break it was back out to ten.
The GIANTS only put up nine goals for the quarter, while the Lightning put up 16 goals for the second term.
Things just kept improving for the Lightning at the beginning of the third term, as the margin continued to grow to north of a dozen goals.
The margin sat at 13 at the beginning of the power five period, but thanks to a couple of super shots the GIANTS got it back down to 10.
Then a little bit of a disaster happened for the GIANTS when Parmenter went down with what seemed to be an ankle injury.
The Lightning were still in control of the game though, and as such extended their lead out to 14 goals at the final break.
In a boost for the GIANTS, Parmenter returned to the court at the beginning of the final term, but by then the damage was well and truly done.
Little changed in the fourth quarter. The Lightning did not take their foot off the gas and the GIANTS just could not make a dent into the deficit, ultimately resulting in the 16-goal final margin.
Dehaney (eight gains, 10 deflections, three rebounds, four intercepts) was an absolute star for the Lightning, working well with Pretorius (seven deflections, four gains, two intercepts and a rebound).
Meanwhile Miller finished with a whopping 43 feeds, as well as 11 assists.
For the GIANTS, Brandley (six deflections, two rebounds, four gains and an intercept) finished with impressive figures despite coming off an interrupted preseason, while Price (29 feeds, 17 assists, five gains, three intercepts, two deflections) also had a great game.
SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING 16 | 16 | 16 | 18 (66)
GIANTS NETBALL 13 | 9 | 12 | 16 (50)
Sunshine Coast Lightning
GS: Cara Koenen
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Annie Miller
C: Laura Scherian
WD: Mahalia Cassidy
GD: Karla Pretorious
GK: Kadie-Ann Dehaney
GS: Matisse Letherbarrow
GA: Sophie Dwyer
WA: Amy Sligar
C: Jamie-Lee Price
WD: Amy Parmenter
GD: April Brandley
GK: Matilda McDonell