The Sunshine Coast Lightning thrust a dagger into the Firebirds’ finals hopes at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena in an 82-61 Super Netball win against the Queensland Firebirds.
It was a rousing performance from the Lightning in the local derby, with Woods’ teammates running away with the game after the captain’s departure from the court with a knee injury.
Goal shooter Cara Koenen led with 46 goals while Tara Hinchliffe’s four gains at goal defence clearly disrupted the Firebirds attack line.
“I think the difference is having no expectations,” Koenen said.
“We knew we could play like that.”
Losing possession hurt the Firebirds, and by halfway through the second quarter the Lightning led by eight goals.
In contrast, Wood had the game in her hands.
The tough, selfless lines she ran created hectares of space for circle partner Koenen, and she burst free at the end of the half to shoot a pair of super shots that sent Lightning ahead 36-28 at the long break.
Wood continued to run amok during the third term as the visitors stretched their lead to 14.
But the crowd of 4306 gasped late in the quarter when the goal attack fell to the court after jarring her knee.
Lightning Head Coach Kylee Byrne said of her team, “To get a win like that took all ten players to stand up and deliver on their roles. This new group was always to going to take time to establish what this new era of Lightning looks like and this week we have seen absolute resilience and belief that sets us up for the remaining games this season.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of what they did tonight.”
Since Lightning’s addition to the National League in 2017, the two teams have met now on 13 occasions.
Lightning continues to lead the head-to-head dual, making tonight 8 wins in total and stopping a 3-win streak from the Firebirds.
Tickets on sale for Lightning’s final home game of the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season, versus Collingwood Magpies.