Thunderbirds edge out Fever in history-repeating win

AFTER a poor performance last week, the Adelaide Thunderbirds bounced back in a big way, defeating West Coast Fever by one goal to hand the Fever their fourth single goal loss this season. In an eerily similar way to the last time these two sides met, he Fever came out of the blocks firing, but the home side carefully worked their way back into the game to pinch the win late, 54-53.

After some strong defensive work, it was the Fever were the first to break centre pass and take the early two goal lead. In the first half of the quarter the only difference came from Adelaide Thunderbirds mistakes, with a breaking call the only other reason the Fever were able to pinch a goal off an Adelaide centre pass.

The Thunderbirds did not even look like pinching a goal off a West Coast centre pass as the Fever continued to solidify and grow their lead. The first Super Shot of the quarter going the way of Georgie Horjus sparked a little bit of life into the Thunderbirds, but it was only brief as the Fever continued to dominate.

With a smooth swish from Jhaniele Fowler to end the quarter, the Fever were up by eight goals at the first change and looking really comfortable.

After the Fever continued to dominate in the opening passages of the second term, the Thunderbirds then really kicked into gear and started to work their way back into the game. They started to win a lot more ball defensively, and were not throwing it away in attack as much and were getting the reward on the scoreboard.

The Thunderbirds got within four goals before the Fever regrouped and retook the momentum. They got out to as much as eight goals ahead before the Thunderbirds had another resurgence. The ended up winning the quarter by three to only be down by five goals at half-time. There was another thing to worry about for the Fever on the shadows of half-time with Courtney Bruce appearing to injure her wrist in a fall.

The status quo was maintained to begin the third quarter, but after a few minutes the Thunderbirds wrestled control of the game and chipped away at the lead. The margin remained around the two goal mark for much of the back half of the quarter, but the Thunderbirds did manage to draw level with a minute left in the quarter. However, two late goals to the Fever ensured they held a narrow lead at the final change.

An injury concern to Tippah Dwan early in the last term saw the home side need to rejig their attack end, but it did not adversely affect the Thunderbirds too much as the margin remained at around two goals. The Thunderbirds then made another change midway through the term to bring on skipper Hannah Petty, and just as she came on the home side then started to swing momentum in their favour.

With mere seconds to go before the Power Five, the score was dead even and the intensity rose. The Thunderbirds were then able to take the lead, before Sasha Glasgow responded straight away to give the Fever back the lead.

The lead changed several times, but ultimately just like last time it was Eleanor Cardwell who was the saviour for those in pink, nailing the decisive Super Shot, and with an extra regular goal her side were able to take the win. Glasgow then landed a Super Shot of their own to take things back to a goal the difference, but then the Thunderbirds chewed up time well enough to take the win.

Despite some confusion on deck about the final score, it was the Thunderbirds who took the win and handed the Fever yet another one-goal loss.

For the Thunderbirds, Shamera Sterling finished with a whopping nine gains and seven deflections in another solid performance, while Horjus was thrown around in multiple positions yet contributed solidly everywhere she played.

Meanwhile for the Fever, Bruce finished with five gains and six deflections of her own, while Jordan Cransberg looked like a natural out on court despite having very few National League level games to her name.

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS          12 | 14 | 13 | 15 (54)
WEST COAST FEVER                      20 | 11 | 10 | 12 (53)


Adelaide Thunderbirds

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

West Coast Fever

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

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