RECAP | SSN – Round 1 2024

THE Sunshine Coast Lightning have made a statement in their opening game of the SSN season, downing the NSW Swifts by 16 goals.

The Lightning caught the Swifts on the hop in crucial situations, and despite a strong Super Shot game from the Swifts it was not enough to make a difference.

It was tight, tough and tense early, but a crucial mistake in attack from the Swifts saw the Lightning with an opportunity to open up a buffer halfway through the term, which they took.

However it was not long before an excellent intercept from Sarah Klau saw the Swifts even up proceedings again.

Things remained tight as the quarter came to a conclusion, but a last minute Super Shot from Steph Fretwell saw the Lightning take a three goal lead into the first change.

Despite both sides having a couple of chances to change momentum, it was goal right through the first half of the second term.

Although the Swifts did have a brief resurgence to get the margin down to a mere goal, the Lightning retook control and even grew the margin beyond that initial three goals.

After stretching out the lead to as much as seven goals during the term, the Lightning’s lead ultimately set back at three at the main break.

The Swifts got the first goal of the third quarter, but then the Lightning put their foot down, going on a seven goal run to really break open their game.

The one area that was really causing the Swifts issues was the lack of turnovers they were picking up, but once it hit the Power 5 the Swifts shooters really found their form from range and worked away at the deficit.

Although the margin was up to as much as 10 during the term, the Lightning ultimately held a margin half of that at the final change.

Despite going into the final break with the momentum, the Swifts somehow lost it in the final break as the Lightning ultimately ran away with the match. The Swifts’ shooters sure did try to claw their way back late, but ultimately it was to no avail.

Liz Watson (45 feeds, 29 assists, one gain, one intercept) made a strong impact in her official debut for the Lightning, while Cara Koenen (50/53 goals, five feeds, three assists, three rebounds) also had a strong game.

Meanwhile for the Swifts Maddy Proud (33 feeds, 23 assists, one gain, one intercept) was strong through midcourt, as did Klau (five deflections, five gains, two rebounds, two intercepts) in defence.

In other results:

  • The West Coast Fever made a statement in their round one win over the Giants, winning comfortably by 19 goals.

Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard (67/68 goals) and Alice Teague-Neeld (50 feeds, 33 assists) were at their dominating best as the Fever provided too much for the Giants.

For their part Jamie-Lee Price (33 feeds, 18 assists) and Jodi-Ann Ward (five deflections, one gain) fort hard for the Giants in the loss.

  • It was a nailbiter in Adelaide as the Thunderbirds held on for a one goal win over the Queensland Firebirds.

After the hosts got the jump, the Firebirds fought back in the second half but just couldn’t quite get over the line.

Georgie Horjus (38 feeds, 21 assists, 3/3 goals) was a workhorse across multiple court sections for the Thunderbirds, while Shamera Sterling-Humphrey (10 gains, eight deflections, six intercepts, two rebounds) out stated whole teams with an incredible performance.

Meanwhile for the visitors Macy Gardner (28 feeds, 18 assists) and Tippah Dwan (18/20 goals, 19 feeds, 13 assists, two gains) were both busy.

  • It was not quite the competition debut to remember for the Melbourne Mavericks, who lost to big sister the Melbourne Vixens by seven goals.

A 21 goal to 16 second quarter in favour of the Vixens was the big difference between the sides as things tightened up in the second half.

Zara Walters (40 feeds, 26 assists, two gains, two intercepts) had a debut to remember for the Vixens, keeping the likes of Sophie Garbin (42/46 goals) well supplied.

Meanwhile for the new kids on the block Molly Jovic (33 feeds, 16 assists, three gains, three deflections) had a strong first game in new colours, while Amy Parmenter (four deflections, two gains, one intercept) was a busy bee through midcourt.

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