To round out a historic first day at the Queensland State Netball Centre the Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds have gone down to a sizzling Melbourne Vixens outfit in their first game of the Suncorp #TeamGirls Cup.
The Firebirds got out of the blocks quick in the first quarter leading 12-10 after strong defence forced several turnovers. The joy stopped there though as the Vixens kicked into gear.
Jemma Mi Mi moved to centre in the second quarter making way at Wing Attack for Macy Gardner to make her debut in the purple dress. Gardner showed off her strong feeds and trademark toughness in her first hit out, the Firebirds having to adjust after Caitlyn Nevins was ruled out of the tournament with an ankle injury.
Tippah Dwan was also introduced in the second quarter, putting in some nice moves with shooting partner Romelda Aiken. The Firebirds rookie got the crowd fired up, netting a cool layup – teammate Tippett’s signature move – for the second time in as many weeks.
The turnovers were costly for the Firebirds though, with the Vixens taking every opportunity to force the upper hand in the match.
Returning from half-time, the Vixens put the foot on the accelerator and didn’t look back. Caitlin Thwaites starred for the green outfit, clearly very comfortable back in the Vixens unit.
Unfortunately for the Firebirds the Vixens got stronger as the game went on, nailing their combinations by the final quarter, proving too good and too strong taking the final game of the night 53-32.
The Firebirds will take a lot out of the match, rotating all players through and enjoying some moments of slick play. In another huge day of netball for fans tomorrow, the Firebirds will take on the Lightning at 2pm tomorrow, followed by the Adelaide Thunderbirds at 8pm.
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