Sunshine Coast Lightning have just fallen short of a win for their final game of the 2022 season against the home-side, GIANTS.
GIANTS scored the opening six goals of the game then absorbed a brief flourish from Lightning to lead 39-27 at halftime. But with Cara Koenen (39 goals at 100 per cent accuracy) spearheading the attack, the visitors launched a second-half fightback and provided a few anxious moments for the GIANTS when a late two-point flurry from Reilley Batcheldor and Steph Wood closed the gap to three in the dying seconds.
Sunshine Coast Lightning Assistant Coach Chris Voge said the loss was disappointing, but she was proud of the players’ efforts to fight until the end.
“We wanted to put everything out there that we had tonight, we had nothing to lose and everything to gain,” she said.
“We wanted to show our fans and all our supporters and family what we’d been working so hard on this year, so there’s a bit of disappointment, but I suppose the most important thing is that we were fighting really hard right to the end.”
Sunshine Coast Lightning weren’t able to secure their first point until just over four minutes had passed in the first quarter.
“We weren’t flat in terms of the work-rate. It was just the errors, silly things that happened in the first couple of minutes until we scored a point. We gave away possession too early in the match,” Chris said.
“Our centre pass conversion was too low in the first half but in the second half we absolutely delivered on that — it’s just a shame we couldn’t connect on that earlier on.
As the game neared its end, Lightning knew their only chance to win was to start sinking Super Shots.
“It’s such a hard game to play — you can’t just rely on Super Shots. But we thought, let’s give it everything we’ve got. Roo (Reilley) and Steph rose to the occasion and said yep give me the ball let’s see what we can do. We were close but not close enough,” Chris said.
Bringing the score back to just three goals difference at the final whistle, time was simply not on the Lightning’s side tonight.