The Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds have secured their second draw for the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball season with a thrilling nail-biter against the West Coast Fever, 62 – 62.
The competition remained tight as both teams were goal for goal, with Firebirds securing the last point of the game to pull them up as head-to-head with the Fever.
The Firebirds started the game looking fit and fierce as Gretel Tippett returned Fever’s first goal with a fire shot, not missing a shot for the first quarter.
Firebirds fans welcomed Kimberley Jenner back into GK after a long awaited return from injury. Her strong defence kept her on the court for the remainder of the game, proving a tough competitor to Jhaniele Fowler.
Despite Romelda remaining out due to injury, Abigail Latu-Meafou filled the space with flying colours, scoring an 84% shot rate for the game. She did not disappoint with her quick hands and agile feet from all angles under the net.
Gretel closed the first quarter with a glamorous buzzer-beater, securing the Firebirds a three-point lead and bonus point, 17-14.
Firebirds’ captain Gabi Simpson entered the second quarter, championing her athleticism and keen eye, intercepting Fever’s passes and turning them into goals. The Firebirds didn’t put a foot wrong, successfully pushing space between the Fever with a 32 – 29 end to the quarter.
Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke remained certain of her choice as she left Kim and Tara to defend on home soil.
Fever built momentum in the second half going goal-for-goal as the Firebirds returned every point with all they had. Gretel provided fans with her iconic layups every chance she could to secure 35 of her total 36 goals.
The third quarter started with a few fumbles from the Firebirds seeing the Fever sneak through to lead the score. Despite tough competition under the net, Tara Hinchliffe showed her stamina and strategic hands when it came to defending the goal.
The Fever entered the last quarter with a 47 – 46 lead over Firebirds. The crowd remained behind Firebirds as they returned with even more aggression and tighter plays.
The tension built as the score remained extremely close and time wound down. The Fever’s slip-ups made way for Firebirds WA Caitlyn Nevins’ quick hands as fans remained on the edge of their seats.
With two minutes remaining, Firebirds were strong, putting extra pressure under the net. Abigail and Gretel put together their A-team shots to continue the neck and neck competition.
The Firebirds were able to sneak through the Fever to secure their final goal in the remaining 5 seconds.
The Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds will remain at home to take on the NSW Swifts at Queensland State Netball Centre on Sunday June 9… secure your tickets here.
Q1: Firebirds 17 v Fever 14
Q2: Firebirds 16 v Fever 16
Q3: Firebirds 13 v Fever 17
Q4: Firebirds 16 v Fever 15
Suncorp Super Netball Premiership Points
Firebirds – 4
Fever – 3
Nissan Player of the Match
Firebirds Shooting Statistics
Abigail Latu-Meafou – 27/32 (84%)
Gretel Tippett – 35/36 (97%)
Fever Shooting Statistics
Jhaniele Fowler – 55/60 (92%)
Kaylia Stanton – 7/11 (64%)
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