Thunderbirds break Fever hot streak

THE Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) top of the table clash proved to be a blockbuster as the Adelaide Thunderbirds broke West Coast Fever’s undefeated streak by a solitary goal. A late Super Shot goal from Eleanor Cardwell in the dying seconds helped the Thunderbirds seal the victory, 64-63.

Latanya Wilson (six gains, five intercepts and two deflections) had the job of keeping in-form Fever wing attack Alice Teague-Neeld quiet, after shutting down Melbourne Vixens midcourter Liz Watson in the previous round. Wilson certainly achieved this with Teague-Neeld finishing with 25.5 Net Points and eight turnovers.

The work of Wilson out the front tired out Teague-Neeld and also created space for Shamera Sterling (six deflections, five gains and four intercepts) to get plenty of hand to ball.

Thunderbirds captain Hannah Petty entered the court at centre at the start of the fourth quarter and completely changed the game. Only playing 12 and a half minutes, she got two intercepts, eight feeds and 47 Net Points.

The Fever defence line was changing their structures to keep on mystifying the opposition. Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang worked off the body to confuse the space. They switched players, making the feeders second guess who was free. Fever coach Dan Ryan wanted them to “cause some chaos”.

The battles at the bookends of the court was a sure watch with Jamaican teammates Jhaniele Fowler against Sterling, and the most exciting for fans, Cardwell against Bruce.

Fowler entered this game only missing four goals this season so far, and Sterling gave Fowler a run for her money. Pushing her further out of the circle and forcing Fowler to shoot from longer range resulted in two more misses for Fowler. Still exceptional shooting, but unexpected by some standards.

It was of utmost importance for Sterling not to become heavily penalised so she could stick on Fowler either in front or behind her. Whenever Sterling was out of play, it was easy for Verity Simmons and Teague-Neeld to notice the height mismatch when Matilda Garrett was posted up on Fowler, allowing for an easier feed.

Thunderbirds entered this matchup the least penalised team in the league, but they notched up 63 in this outing, just showing their determination to win ball and put pressure all throughout the court.

After leading at every break, the Fever let it slip away suffering a nine goal turnaround at the hands of the Thunderbirds taking the last quarter 13 – 19.

Potential to be the game of the season, this did not disappoint with Cardwell slotting a picture perfect super shot to come from behind and take the game by one, silencing the very vocal Fever crowd.

Player of the Match: Eleanor Cardwell (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

WEST COAST FEVER 20 | 15 | 15 | 13 (63)
ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 17 | 14 | 14 | 19 (64)


West Coast Fever

GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Sasha Glasgow
WA: Alice Teague-Neeld
C: Verity Simmons
WD: Jess Anstiss
GD: Sunday Aryang
GK: Courtney Bruce

Adelaide Thunderbirds

GS: Eleanor Cardwell
GA: Tippah Dwan
WA: Georgie Horjus
C: Tayla Williams
WD: Latanya Wilson
GD: Matilda Garrett
GK: Shamera Sterling

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments