Thunderbirds too strong in Battle of the Birds

THE Adelaide Thunderbirds have got their season right back on track, comfortably defeating the Queensland Firebirds by 13 goals in the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) last night.

It did not take long for Shamera Sterling to make an impact on the game, and she took an intercept on the very first entry into the Firebirds’ shooting circle. The Thunderbirds benefitted up the other end, as they raced ahead to a 2-0 lead.  

Although the Firebirds kept pace with the hosts for much of the quarter, they were always at least a few goals behind. Not even some brilliant round the post shooting from Donnell Wallam could help bridge the gap as the Thunderbirds went in with a four-goal buffer into quarter time.

The Thunderbirds were able to maintain their lead for much of the second term, largely thanks to the defensive work of Sterling and Latanya Wilson, whose intercepts denied the Firebirds a number of shooting attempts. The Firebirds were ultimately forced to bring on Mia Stower, who certainly made her presence felt straight away with a Super Shot from her very first shot.

Tippah Dwan cancelled out that shot though with a super shot of her own up the other end, and as the main break approached and then came, the margin was five in favour of the home side. Things were very even in the third term, so much so that both sides scored exactly 16 goals each. The Firebirds got within three goals during the term, but the home side weathered the fightback to maintain a five-goal lead into the final term.

The Firebirds rung the changes at the final change to mix things up and try to get themselves back in the game. It did not work as the Thunderbirds extended their lead even further. The Firebirds made the changes again to their midcourt just to try and reinvigorate their chances, but they were ultimately to no avail as the Thunderbirds ran away with the quarter.

The Firebirds were their own worst enemy in the back end of the quarter as they missed shot after shot, so the margin could have been much closer. Adelaide won the quarter 16 goals to eight to go on to win the game by 13 goals.

For Adelaide, Wilson and Sterling were definitely best on court. They finished with 17 deflections between them as their deflection work was goal stopping on a number of occasions. Lenize Potgieter was also very accurate, shooting at 100 per cent. Georgie Horjus (20 goals from 27 attempts and 18 goal assists) and Hannah Petty (two intercepts, two deflections and three goal assists) were other Thunderbirds who stood out.

Meanwhile for the Firebirds, Gretel Bueta shot at 100 per cent from one-goal range, but missed some key super shot chances. Kim Ravaillion (18 goal assists, two intercepts and two deflections) and Ruby Bakewell-Doran (three deflections, one rebound) also worked hard.

Next round sees the Thunderbirds in Victoria to face the Magpies, while the Firebirds are back in Queensland to face cross state rivals the Lightning.

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 20 | 16 | 16 | 16 (68)
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 16 | 15 | 16 |  8  (55)


Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS: Lenize Potgeiter
GA: Tippah Dwan
WA: Georgie Horjus
C: Tayla Williams
WD: Hannah Petty
GD: Latanya Wilson
GK: Shamera Sterling

Queensland Firebirds:

GS: Donnell Wallam
GA: Gretel Bueta
WA: Lara Dunkley
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: Ruby Bakewell-Doran
GK: Eboni Usoro-Brown

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