Once again the Suncorp Super Netball League did not disappoint this weekend, with two one goal victories, Super Shots galore and outstanding defending on show across all four matches.
Here are just some of the international stars that played their part in keeping their teams season alive…
Thunderbirds 63 – 46 Firebirds
The Thunderbirds continued to fly high in the Suncorp Super Netball League, as they soared past Firebirds in their Round 9 clash.
Both teams entered this one full of confidence, coming off the back of Round 8 victories, and this was clear from the off with second from bottom Firebirds really bringing the game to Thunderbirds as the opening quarter went goal-for-goal, before finishing 12-12.
Thunderbird and Jamaican Sunshine Girl, Shamera Sterling, then started to cause chaos on court in the second quarter as she continuously won ball delayed the Firebirds from reaching goal, and allowing Thunderbirds to take a marginal two goal lead into half-time.
The match was a real test for the league leaders Thunderbirds, with many of their players picking up small injuries and facing some time on the side lines. This included England Rose, Eleanor Cardwell, who spent nearly two quarters on the bench.
However, Thunderbirds showcased the depth of their squad and stepped up to the test, to beat Firebirds with an outstanding 24-goal last quarter.
Sterling was awarded player of the match for her six interceptions and 10 gains.
Fever 64 – 65 Swifts
Swifts secured the second-best spot in the league with a last second victory over Fever, thanks to international shooting duo Jamaican Sunshine Girl Romelda Aiken-George and England Rose Helen Housby.
The shot of taking second in the league was open to both teams going into this match, and neither team made any mistake in getting the match going.
However, it was Swifts Sarah Klau who got the first interception of the game, which Housby then capitalised off at the other end.
Housby was the queen of the Super Shot in Round 9, as she netted a perfect 10.
In the first quarter, it was a double Housby Super Shot that allowed Swifts to go into the first break three goals to the good, and in the second quarter she produced more of the same to keep her side within touching distance of Fever.
Keeping with that theme, it was of course then a Housby Super Shot that brought Swifts back to within one of Fever in the dying minute of the match, and it was then Aiken-George’s time to shine as she scored two one pointers in the closing seconds to seal second place for Swifts.
Lightning 61 – 62 Vixens
As if one marginal victory was not enough for the Netball Family to witness in the Suncorp Super Netball League this weekend, Lightning and Vixens then went on to produce more of the same.
Vixens have been known for their fiery finishes this season, with their fourth quarter always being their best, but this time it was their first quarter masterclass that saved them from their last quarter downfall.
In the opening quarter Vixen’s dominated in defence with Australian diamond Jo Weston teaming up well with Emily Mannix and causing all sorts of problems for the Lightning attack, which they were unable to respond to, allowing the visitors to take an early 6-17 lead.
This start was very unlike Lightning, who have been known to strike teams down in the first quarter this season. However, they did find eventually find their rhythm in the middle of this match, winning the second quarter and drawing the third.
Going into the final 15-minutes the score sat at 37-47 to the visitors, and with Vixen’s known strong fourth quarters you would have expected that to be game over.
Lightning had other ideas though, as they battled and dominated in every area of the court.
Australian Diamond Cara Koenen was clincal under post, whilst South Africa SPAR Protea Karla Pretorius was dominant in the defensive circle.
Pretorius made a key interception that saw Lightning take the lead for the first time this match, but unfortunately for the hosts it just was not to be as Vixen’s Australian Diamond Kiera Austin scored a match-winning Super Shot in the dying seconds.
Magpies 56 – 69 Giants
Neither team in the final match of Round 9 are looking likely to make the finals, but that did not stop them from giving it everything they had out on court in search for a victory.
In the end, it was Giants that came out on top thanks to overpowering the Magpies in the fourth quarter.
Some excellent defending from Magpies international duo of Jamaican Sunshine Girl Jodi-Ann Ward and England Rose Geva Mentor, left the Giants circle very unsettled early on and allowed the home side to take an early lead.
However, Giants then grew into the game and won the second and third quarters taking a 43-50 lead into the final break.
In the last 15-minutes, Giants were then able to go on a final run with Australian Diamond Sophie Dwyer and Matisse Letherbarrow really finding their feet and standing up to the Magpies defence to help their side take a 56-69 victory.
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.
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To view the full fixture list, click here.
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