Rounds 9 and 10 of the Suncorp Super Netball League (SSN) in Australia took place this week, and it was the Jamaican Sunshine Girls that shone on the domestic stage.
In a week of sensational shooting, Jhaniele Fowler, Shimona Nelson, Matisse Letherbarrow, and Mwai Kumwenda were amongst those to impress in the attacking circle.
Here is how the teams got on…
Lightning 65 – 74 Fever
Fever secured their third successive victory, 74-65, thanks to another shooting masterclass from the league’s most in-form shooter Jamaican Sunshine Girl Jhaniele Fowler.
Fowler made all 66 of her 1-point shots at the weekend, and in fact only missed once overall with her last 2-point shot of the game.
Vixens 66 – 63 Giants
The next game of the weekend was a triller, which Vixen’s won 66-63 in extra time to stay hot on the tails of the league leaders Fever, who they play next in Round 10.
Giants were behind by 11 in the second and third quarters, but their young shooter Matisse Letherbarrow managed to get them back into the game when she replaced England Rose Jo Harten in the second quarter and made eight of her first nine super shots, firing Giants into the lead.
It looked as though Letherbarrow could’ve edged it for her team, but at the other end of the court the opposing team’s shooter, Mwai Kumwenda (Malawi Queen), was also on her A-game scoring the last three goals of the match in a picture-perfect finish that meant she had converted all 50 of her shots that game and secured her team the victory.
Magpies 71 – 67 Firebirds
In a weekend of outstanding shooting performances, Firebirds also celebrated Australian Diamonds shooter Gretel Bueta’s 100th national league game.
However, despite celebrating this milestone Bueta and her team weren’t able to celebrate a victory as it was Magpies who took the points, winning 71-67.
Magpies strong first half was what secured them the victory, as they won the first quarter by five and the second by two.
Firebirds fought back in the second half, but it wasn’t enough thanks to Magpies’ Jamaican Sunshine Girls’ Shimona Nelson and Jodi-Ann Ward shining in their different roles.
Nelson scored 65 out of 66 of her shots, whilst Ward keept Bueta under control at the other end.
Swifts 54 – 40 Thunderbirds
In the final game of Round 9, Swifts managed to keep their finals weekend hopes alive with a 54-40 win over Thunderbirds.
Throughout the Round 9 games we have celebrated the international shooters who stood up to the test, however in this match-up it was Swifts goal keeper Sarah Klau who impressed.
The Australian Diamond made seven interceptions and seven deflections, helping her side to a much-needed victory.
Lightning 60 – 61 Swifts
On Tuesday 17th Round 10 of the SSN then swiftly followed with four more matches, starting with a nail biter between Lightning and NSW Swifts.
A final quarter Swifts victory, thanks to a famous England Rose Helen Housby final second winning goal, put an end of Lightning’s finals series hopes.
Housby showed just what she was capable of, scoring 41 goals including the matchwinner.
Fever 64 – 70 Vixens
Melbourne Vixens continued their reign at the top of the table after beating top spot rivals West Coast Fever 64-70 at the RAC Arena, thanks to a strong first quarter 9 goal lead.
The battles in both shooting circles were hard to take your eyes off, with Vixen’s Olivia Lewis marking her dominance against the league’s top shooter Jhaniele Fowler (Jamaican Sunshine Girl) and Fever Captain Courtney Bruce (Australian Diamond) going head-to-head with Malawi Queen shooter Mwai Kumwenda at the other end.
The standout performer in this game though was Australian Diamond Liz Watson, who played centre for all four quarters making 52 feeds into the circle and 30 goal assists, statistics which later saw her awarded Player of the Match.
Magpies 60 – 69 Giants
Another team looking to keep their finals series hopes alive was Giants, as they travelled away to take on Collingwood Magpies.
In the first half it looked as though the Magpies were going to take it as they led 37-31 at half-time, but a 3rdquarter flurry of 24 goals from Giants changed the momentum of the game and flipped the score line on its head giving the visitors a 47-55 lead.
From then on Giants and England Rose’s shooter, Jo Harten, who had returned straight into the team following illness, ensure Magpies could not get back into the game as she continued sinking super shots, ending the Giants two-match losing streak.
Thunderbirds 68 – 55 Firebirds
To finish a marathon weekend, it was time for the battle of the birds, as Thunderbirds took on Firebirds at the Netball SA Stadium.
Thunderbirds soared passed the Firebirds in the first quarter taking a four goal lead into the second set of 15-minutes.
It was then a much closer encounter into the final quarter, when Thunderbirds once again proved too much for their visitors to handle.
The home side dominated in defence in the final quarter, not allowing the Firebirds to score for over six minutes.
That was all down to the work of the Jamaican Sunshine Girls duo Latanya Wilson and Shamera Sterling, who battled to the end with Wilson alone making 10 deflections and three intercepts.
Round 11 takes place midweek from the 21st May, and you can view the fixtures and previous results here.
You can view the league table here.
International fans can watch every game of the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball Season live and on-demand as part of NetballAustralia.TV, the official international subscription service for fans outside of Australia and New Zealand.
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