Super Netball: Magpies stun Firebirds as Swifts hold off Thunderbirds

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Topics Earlier, the NSW Swifts scored two late goals to scrape past Adelaide 51-49 on Sunday and leave the Thunderbirds still without a Super Netball win this season.In an unexpectedly tense finish, the Thunderbirds levelled the scores with two minutes to go at Quay Centre in Sydney.But timely intercepts from Swifts pair Paige Hadley and Abbey McCulloch ended their late run as the home side recorded their fourth victory from six games.The upside for Adelaide was they banked their first competition points of the season with two bonus points for winning the third and fourth quarters.Swifts coach Briony Akle made an uncharacteristic number of changes as she attempted to avoid an upset loss – including swapping out star goal shooter Sam Wallace (30 goals from 34 attempts) at the final break.Adelaide’s defence provided some hustle but the Swifts were helped by the contributions of shooters Helen Housby (15/20) and Sophie Garbin (6/9).Adelaide goal shooter Shimona Nelson finished with healthier figures (33/39) after dropping below 80 per cent at one stage, her rebounding efforts making up for her at-times wayward shooting.NSW led 31-25 at halftime and despite the Thunderbirds cutting the deficit to three goals heading into the final quarter, the Swifts continued to make a raft of substitutions. Share via Email ‘Exciting’ scoring changes to spice up new Super Netball season In a surprise move, the Magpies handed 19-year-old defender Matilda Garrett her first Super Netball start ahead of Diamonds goal keeper Sharni Layton.The line-up change appeared to be a masterstroke with the Magpies bursting out to an early five-goal advantage and extending the lead to seven in the third quarter before the Firebirds fought back to tie the game.But the Magpies steadied after subbing in the experience of Layton and centre Kim Ravaillion to help withstand Queensland’s late charge.Collingwood won three quarters to finish with seven competition points in the win and move within striking distance of the top four heading into the bye round.With leading scorer Caitlin Thwaites locked in a tough battle with Firebirds veteran Laura Geitz, Bell played her best game in Collingwood colours with her string of eight straight goals sparking the Magpies’ four-goal break at halftime.Thwaites imposed herself on the game in the second half to finish with 34 goals with 85 per cent accuracy while midcourter Madi Robinson compiled 37 circle feeds and 22 goal assists.Romelda Aiken bagged 42 goals from 51 attempts in her 150th game for the Queensland Firebirds while Gretel Tippett made 20 of her 21 shots to go with 18 assists.Behind their new-look defensive pairing, the Magpies cashed in on some errant Queensland turnovers to build a 6-2 lead, forcing Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke to use an early time out.The Firebirds regrouped with Aiken and Tippett starting to break down Collingwood’s defence but the Magpies held on to take a lead 17-16 at the first change.The second quarter turned into an arm-wrestle with both teams trading goals until the Magpies broke away in the final minutes with five goals in a row to establish at 35-31 lead at halftime.Bell was on song early in the second half as the Magpies’ lead grew to seven goals but Aiken poured in 15 third-quarter goals as the Firebirds levelled the scores at 50-all before the Magpies took control in the final quarter.The Magpies will travel to Sydney after the bye to play the Giants while the Firebirds will face the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Sam Wallace was swapped out at the last break despite 30 goals from 34 attempts. Photograph: Craig Golding/AAP Support The Guardian Impassioned rallying cry strikes chord with netball followers Read more Read more Twitter Since you’re here… Super Netball The Collingwood Magpies have broken through for just their second Super Netball win of the season by defeating Queensland Firebirds 67-62 in Launceston.Collingwood headed into Sunday’s match stranded in seventh spot on the ladder but stunned the in-form Firebirds as goal attack Erin Bell (33 goals) powered the Magpies to a morale-boosting victory.center_img Share on WhatsApp … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Facebook Australia sport Share on Facebook news Share on Twitter Netball Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Akle was relieved after admitting her side felt the pressure as the Thunderbirds threatened the upset. “Everyone knew that the T-Birds hadn’t won a point – everyone’s talking about it and I think that’s where the youth comes in,” Akle said. “If we had a few older heads, we’d just play our game and we’d be okay but I think the pressure got to them.”The introduction of the bonus-point system has brought a new level of intensity to Super Netball and Sunday’s result highlighted the way it can extend the meaning of games.By not banking all bonus points, the fourth-placed Swifts (26 points) missed the chance to draw level on the table with the Giants and Sunshine Coast Lightning (both 28 points). The West Coast Fever (35) sit clear at the top. Reuse this contentlast_img

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