Thunderbirds back on the winners list

THE Adelaide Thunderbirds are back in the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) winner’s books, snapping a five-game losing streak after defeating the Sunshine Coast Lightning 51-44 yesterday.

The Thunderbirds had the ideal start to the match, nailing the first two goals of the match. Although the Lightning had plenty of chances to level things up, they just couldn’t convert their shots. They did eventually manage to level things up just over five minutes in, and took the lead not long after.

The lead kept chopping and changing in the back end of the term, but then the Lightning did not score for almost the entire last four minutes of the quarter.

Sunshine Coast was its own worst enemy at times, as both Steph Wood and Reilley Batcheldor kept missing shots. But, it also did not help that Shamera Sterling was on fire with her intercept timing. At quarter time the margin was three goals in favour of the visitors.

It was a very even second term, with the margin remaining at roughly three or four goals for much of the term.

Goals were hard to come by for both sides, as the intercept brilliance from both sets of defenders, particularly Sterling and Kate Walsh, was on full display.

Adelaide shot away during the power five, and at the main break the margin was eight goals in its favour. The Lightning got five of the first eight goals of the third term to bridge the gap slightly. They brought it back to as little as three goal as the power five hit.

Again the Thunderbirds really shot away in the last five minutes of the quarter and as the teams turned for home the margin was once again back at eight goals in favour of the visitors. The Lightning got the better start in the final term, and brought the margin back to four goals before the Thunderbirds steadied.

Sunshine Coast was certainly not going to go down without a fight. Adelaide kept the scoreboard ticking though, and was able to maintain a barrier that the Lightning just could not bridge. In what was starting to become a pattern, the Thunderbirds again shot away during the power five period and ultimately came away with the win.

For the Thunderbirds, Lenize Potgieter was incredibly accurate, missing only one shot for the whole match with 36 goals from 37 attempts, as well as three rebounds, but also produced six turnovers. That number was only beaten by Elle McDonald, who accrued seven, which was what the Thunderbirds will look to improve on next game, picking up 29 turnovers to 21 fo the match.

Meanwhile for the Lightning, Laura Scherian finished with 12 goal assists, 29 feeds but had five turnovers, while Tara Hinchliffe finished with four intercepts and five deflections.

Next week sees the Thunderbirds in Sydney to face the Swifts, while the Lightning play host to the Fever.

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING 10 | 11 | 10 | 14 (44)
ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 13 | 16 | 10 | 12 (51)


Sunshine Coast Lightning:

GS: Cara Koenen
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Laura Scherian
C: Maddie Hinchliffe
WD: Mahalia Cassidy
GD: Kate Walsh
GK: Tara Hinchliffe

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS: Lenize Potgeiter
GA: Georgie Horjus
WA: Elle McDonald
C: Maisie Nankivell
WD: Hannah Petty
GD: Matilda Garrett
GK: Shamera Sterling

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