Thunderbirds continue their league wide dominance

WITH only one month left of the regular season, the top three has never been clearer with the Vixens, Fever and Thunderbirds continuing on their merry ways.

GIANTS Netball (42) defeated by Adelaide Thunderbirds (57)

Julie Fitzgerald celebrated her 400th national league game as a coach, but it unfortunately came out of the clash with a new record for the GIANTS, as the match was now their lowest scoring game in Super Netball history. It was a bit of a bittersweet ending to a momentous occasion.

Oddly enough, Matilda Garrett only played the first 18 minutes which meant Latanya Wilson (seven gains, nine deflections, four intercepts, and two rebounds) shifted back into the circle. This seemed to work out well as the home side coughed up 31 turnovers to the Thunderbirds 20. Midway through the second quarter, the Thunderbirds went on a 10 goal run as they just ran with the momentum for the remainder of the game being as clinical as ever.

Tayla Williams was massive both in attack and defence for the visitors ending the game with 27 feeds, 10 deflections, and two intercepts. For the GIANTS, Jodi-Ann Ward (six deflections, and three intercepts) was giving it her all, throwing her body everywhere to win back possession, but every time she would get an intercept, Wilson would respond right away with one of her own.

Sunshine Coast Lightning (61) defeated by Melbourne Vixens (63)

In what was arguably the game of the round, the Vixens overcame a determined Lightning outfit and now sit comfortably at the top of the ladder. This win now means that the Vixens have defeated every team this season after suffering a seven-goal loss to the Lightning back in Round 6.

A controversial held ball call on the Lightning’s circle edge might have decided the game, but the Vixens were nothing but determined to get the victory after winning the first half.

Like normal fashion, the Vixens kept their starting seven out on court to see the game out, meaning that Sharni Lambden (three deflections, and one intercept) spent the 60 minutes on Liz Watson (41 feeds, 35 centre pass receives, and 25 goal assists), with both having fantastic games. It looked as though Lambden had been training with the squad this whole season after spending two years as a training partner.

It was a tough game the whole time with all five shooters having extreme accuracy. Sophie Garbin in particular shot 38 goals while grabbing five rebounds.

Melbourne Mavericks (73) defeated Queensland Firebirds (61)

A strong four quarter performance by the Mavericks earnt them another win on the board in their last home game of the regular season. 100 percent shooting all round for the Mavericks was enough to put the scoreboard pressure on the Firebirds and send them crumbling.

Kim Jenner (four deflections, three intercepts, and one rebound) was back with another clean game racking up only six penalties, the least amount of the Mavericks’ defenders. She completely shut down both Firebirds goal attacks, forcing their midcourt to do more of the work to get the ball into Donnell Wallam (55 goals and five rebounds).

It was a bit of back and forth with the leads in the first half, but the Mavericks extended their lead from four goals at half time to 11 at the last break thanks to a seven goal run midway through the third quarter. It wasn’t so easy to maintain it though with the visitors scoring 19 goals in the last quarter, but the team in the light blue scored 20 of their own.

This was the battle of the midcourt with Molly Jovic (38 feeds and 29 goal assists) and Macy Gardner (22 feeds, 13 goal assists, four pickups, and one intercept) being the most consistent players for their teams in attack. Both had a day at the office able to find their respective shooters with ease.

Victorian born Maddi Ridley earnt first national league cap for the Firebirds in wing defence after an impressive Super Netball Reserves campaign.

West Coast Fever (78) defeated NSW Swifts (71)

Despite a last quarter comeback, the Swifts fell to the dominant Fever in Perth in front of a crowd of 11,000 Fever fans. The Swifts attack line tried their hardest to reduce the deficit from a game high of 20 goals down to seven thanks to eight super shots in the last quarter.

All the damage was done in the second quarter though where the Fever outscored the visitors 24 – 16. Pretty much everything went the home side’s way, scoring off 82 percent of their centre passes and 13 goals from gains. This definitely helps when Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard breaks the record for the highest individual score of 76 goals.

Down the other end, Fran Williams (nine gains, seven rebounds, and one intercept) was everywhere, winning ball and causing havoc for the Swifts shooters. Helen Housby (23 goals, 15 centre pass receives, and 12 feeds) tried her best to combat her English teammate in Williams, but the Fever defence was too strong and Fowler-Nembhard was able to finish off the hard work at the post.

Super Netball Reserves

Lightning (61) v Vixens (65)

GIANTS (49) v Thunderbirds (72)

Firebirds (51) v Vixens (67)

Fever (56) v Swifts (48)

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