By: Suncorp Super Netball
GIANTS Netball have achieved a win over Sunshine Coast Lightning, securing a 70-64 victory at Ken Rosewall Arena.
The momentum swung back and forth, with both teams leaving it all out on the court, but it was the GIANTS’ unrivalled Super Shot accuracy and Amy Parmenter’s outstanding performance that proved too formidable for the Lightning.
The Lightning were strong early, registering three goals in a clinical display in the first few minutes.
The combination of Cara Koenen and Steph Wood were formidable for the visitors, and the full court pressure and box set-up gave the GIANTS headaches in attack early.
The first tactical time-out was called by GIANTS coach Julie Fitzgerald at just over the nine minute mark.
After the break, Parmenter shifted momentum with an intercept and Sophie Dwyer finished with a settler for the GIANTS.
The team in orange clawed their way back to within two just before Power Five time and the Lightning called a tactical.
A short feed, another intercept from Lauren Moore and an opening Super Shot from Matisse Letherbarrow gave the GIANTS the lead by a point.
The GIANTS came back with another Super Shot from Dwyer and the team in orange gained control of the quarter.
A Super Shot from the Lightning Skipper brought it within one and Koenen locked it up to 16 a piece.
Wood provided physicality and drive out of the contest, but a flurry of Super Shots to the GIANTS resulted in them locking up the scores to 16 a piece as the quarter-time whistle rang.
It was more of the same in the second term, with plenty of end-to-end play.
Charlie Bell came on in GS for the Lightning early, shifting Koenen out to GA and Wood to WA.
The two talls in the circle for the Lightning challenged the home side’s defenders but some great footwork from April Brandley and a pick up from Moore shifted momentum and the team in orange took out the lead to two after seven minutes of play.
But it was Koenen who made it count on the scoreboard, converting a couple goals in quick succession after a tactical time-out called by Belinda Reynolds. Bell was benched, returning to the original shooting combination.
With a Super Shot from Wood, the Lightning took the lead out to four, but Letherbarrow was quick to respond with a goal.
Karla Pretorius was impactful across the court in defence, while Scherian led higher up the ground to work into the game and generate some attacking transition for the Lightning.
Letherbarrow sank a Super Shot with the 30 seconds to go in the second term, locking it up 30-30, but Koenen responded with a goal on the buzzer. Parmenter once again showed her grit defensively, but the home team went into the main break trailing by one point.
The Lightning put their foot down in the third term, leading by three as the Power Five approached but the GIANTS were always in the contest and came alive in the back half of the quarter.
Ava Black came on in WD to match up against Maddie Hay and Tilly McDonell came on in GK for the GIANTS, with Moore benched.
Parmenter’s game was pivotal for the home side, with two interceptions, six deflections and 68.5 Nissan Net Points to her name.
Letherbarrow scored the opening Super Shot of the term, and it was followed by one from Dwyer. Wood responded with one of her own and Lightning led by four. Dwyer and Letherbarrow scored another couple Super Shots to take them to a razor-thin 51-50 lead into the final term.
GIANT’s defenders battened down the hatches in the opening part of the fourth quarter.
Scherian gave away a crucial contact penalty and the GIANTS scored a quick succession of goals.
The GIANT’s strong defensive game was rewarded not long after, with another intercept from Parmenter in the pocket, leading a four goal lead at just over half way in the final quarter.
With the pressure now on the visitors, and into the Power Five, Koenen went down and Bell came on in GS.
Both sides traded goals in the middle portion of the term but the GIANTS had answers at the right moments.
The Lightning put the pressure on but it wasn’t enough to shut down the GIANTS’ attack. Dwyer and Letherbarrow were excellent for the full four quarters and finished just as strong in the final minutes.
Letherbarrow sealed the six-goal win with a Super Shot on the buzzer, stifling any chance at a Lightning comeback.