Round 6 was the round of the birds, with Thunderbirds stunning the league leaders and Firebirds recording their first win of the season.
As always, outstanding individual international player performances weren’t hard to come by and we have highlighted just a few that deserve recognition this week, as we continue our count down to the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023.
Swifts 67 – 66 Vixens
A fiery fourth-quarter comeback from Swifts saw them secure a one goal victory over Vixen’s in the first match of Round 6.
The tempo for this game was set from the first centre pass, with Australian Diamond and Vixen’s star Kiera Austin making a turnover from Swift’s centre pass, and from there the ball was never safe with both teams hunting it down.
By half-time the score sat at 30-30, with a lot of work still to be done for one team to be crowned winners of this one.
It turned into a battle of the shooters, with Malawi Queen Mwai Kumwenda scoring Super Shots at one end for Vixens, whilst England Rose Helen Housby did the same for Swifts at the other end causing the score to seesaw.
In a chase against time, Swifts then ran down the clock to hold onto their 67-66 lead.
Firebirds 70 – 66 Giants
After coming so close, finishing within two goals of the league leaders Fever in Round 6, Firebirds finally secured their first win of the season beating Giants 70-66.
Firebirds stand-out performance of the season was led by Australian Diamond Donnell Wallam, who scored 51 out of her 53 shots, and four out of four of her Super Shots.
Dominant first and third quarters from Firebirds, saw them enter the final 15-minutes with a three goal lead and a win within touching distance.
Wallam’s most important goal then came in the last 20 seconds of the match, when she scored a Super Shot which clenched the win for her Firebirds team making her the hero of the match.
Fever 63 – 64 Thunderbirds
A final quarter Thunderbirds comeback saw them stun the league leaders Fever and hand them their first defeat of the 2023 season.
It was another match where we must sing the praises of an international shooter, and this time that was England Rose and Thunderbird Eleanor Cardwell.
Thunderbirds tested Fever throughout the match, pushing them all the way, but Fever still went into the final quarter in front by five goals.
However, after missing a few Super Shots throughout the match Cardwell believed in herself and stood up when it mattered most scoring a Super Shot in the dying seconds of the match to secure a 64-63 victory for her team
Cardwell wouldn’t have had her golden moment without the hardwork of her teammates throughout the court, notably Jamaican Sunshine Girl Shamera Sterling.
Sterling made four interceptions and five gains, in a performance that leaves her third on the intercepts chart and top of the deflections charts, and her team hot on the tails of Fever with just two points separating the top two teams
Magpies 50 – 65 Lightning
A dominant first half from Lightning saw them take down Magpies at the John Cain Arena on Anzac day.
Magpies came out the blocks the quickest, scoring the first three goals of the game, but when Lightning warmed up they then dominated for the remainder of the quarter.
The same pattern was seen in the second quarter, with Magpies again peaking to soon, before tiring and becoming carless with the ball allowing Lightning to shoot off and extend their lead even further.
Lightning and Jamaican Sunshine Girl defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney was able to capitalise off Magpies misplaced balls and make a few key interceptions which helped Lightning remain in front throughout.
With 15-minutes to go Lightning lead 39 – 56, and despite Magpies best efforts as they went on to win the fourth quarter it just wasn’t enough for them to catch their visitors.
The Suncorp Super Netball League season will be made of 14 rounds, with the Grand Final scheduled to take place on the 8th July 2023, just in time for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 which will begin on the 28th July in Cape Town, South Africa.
To find out more about the Suncorp Super Netball League, click here.
To view the full fixture list, click here.
To find out more about the start date of the other domestic leagues around the world, visit our Domestic League page here.