It was the final round of Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball League this weekend, with the four places in the Semi Finals now confirmed.
It was a round of shock results as Swifts winning streak was ended by Thunderbirds, whilst bottom of the table Magpies bowed out of the league with an incredible victory over semi-finalists Fever.
As always international players were key in all the contests, and you can find out more in this week’s International Player Watch…
Swifts 57 – 60 Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds put an end to Minor Premiership winners, Swifts, winning streak when they beat them 57- 60 in Round 14.
However, not only did the victory end Swifts winning streak it also booked Thunderbirds a spot in the Major Semi Final, which will see them face Swifts again this Saturday.
It was not an easy ride for Thunderbirds though, as both teams lead at different points throughout the encounter with contests taking place between international players throughout the court.
With 15-minute gone it was Swifts that lead by two goals, but after half an hour it was Thunderbirds that lead 29-32 leaving it all still to play for in the second half.
One contest which the fans enjoyed was that between Thunderbirds Jamaican Sunshine Girl Latanya Wilson and Swifts England Rose Helen Housby, and with both players being selected to represent their countries at the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 it might not be long until the international netball family get to see this one again.
In the last quarter, Jamaican Sunshine Girl Shamera Sterling made the final intercept of the game for Thunderbirds, and it was down to England Rose Eleanor Cardwell to convert this at the other end to secure the win, and as always this season Cardwell stepped up and did not disappoint as her team won 57 – 60.
Magpies 65 – 62 Fever
It was Magpies last ever game in the Suncorp Super Netball League, and it was clear from the off that their players wanted nothing more than to go out on a high.
With 15-minutes gone, bottom of the table Magpies were one goal ahead against Semi Finalists Fever.
One stand-out player for Magpies was Australian Diamond, Ash Brazill, who was playing her last ever domestic league game before retiring.
Brazill controlled the game at centre, making 28 feeds into the circle throughout the match, but also doing her part in defence as she made six turnovers.
The Australian Diamond has since been rewarded for her season long efforts with a call up for the Diamonds Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 squad, as to has her Magpies teammate Sophie Garbin, who in this match was also awarded Most Valued Player for her play making role at goal attack as she assisted Jamaican Sunshine Girl Shimona Nelson consistently.
The accuracy of the Magpies attack allowed them to win the third quarter 19-12 and it was then down to their defence to get this game across the line as the score sat at 51-44 to Magpies.
England Rose Geva Mentor teamed up with Jamaican Sunshine Girl Jodi-Ann Ward brilliantly for the Magpies in defence, and their persistence paid off as their team won their final match 65-62 despite Fever’s final quarter comeback.
Lightning 66 – 60 Firebirds
Sticking with the theme of close contests, this match was no different with Firebirds winning the first two quarters, before Lightning struck back in the second half to take the final two quarters and win the match.
In the opening two quarters, Lightning struggled to make their way through the court as Firebirds defensive mid-court made up of Kim Ravaillion and Australian Diamond Ruby Bakewell-Doran closed down every option with speed.
Bakewell-Doran did not just do her bit in defence, but also in attack as she got an impressive goal assist with a perfectly timed and placed ball from the centre third into fellow Australian Diamond Donnell Wallam, who converted under the post.
Things all changed in the penultimate quarter, with the re-introduction of Australian Diamond Steph Wood to the court for Lightning at goal shooter, whilst at the other end of the court things also began to click for the home side as their Jamaican Sunshine Girl Kadie-Ann Dehaney also began to win ball off Wallam, who was somewhat untouchable in the first half.
This marked the start of Lightning’s comeback, and at one point they event went on a seven-goal scoring spree.
South Africa SPAR Protea Karla Pretorius played a big part in the second half turn around for Lightning as she made four deflections, one interception and two rebounds.
Lightning were eventually able to come away with a 66-60 win to finish their season, and also the bragging rights as this match against their Queensland rivals saw them win the Queensland Cup.
Giants 60 – 57 Vixens
As if Round 14 was not exciting enough, Giants then pulled of a remarkable comeback to beat Semi Finalists Vixen’s 60-57.
It was clear in the first quarter that it was visitors that were the top four team, with Australian Diamond Kiera Austin finding Malawi Queen Mwai Kumwenda with ease under the post.
However, as the quarter progressed Giants grew into the game, and with neither teams’ shooters netting all their Super Shots, Vixen’s were only able to take a one goal lead into the first break.
Both teams utilised the Power Five in the second quarter, but it was Vixen’s Austin that continued to steal the show as she helped push her side further ahead.
Going into the second half Giants trailed by 29-34, but after a close third quarter, a final quarter masterclass from the home side soon turned this match on its head.
It was a Sophie Dwyer shot on the final buzzer that eventually saw the home crowd erupt, as Giants came from behind to finish their season with a 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.
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.