It was a special occasion at John Cain Arena as Lightning took on the Collingwood Magpies as part of the Suncorp Super Netball’s inaugural ANZAC Day match. Players and coaches stood together to acknowledge those who served which was a special moment for all involved.
Cara Koenen scored her 2,000th national league goal – an impressive achievement for the Australian Diamond shooter.
Lightning came out of the blocks firing with a nine-goal lead after the first quarter. Magpies weren’t able to get themselves back in the game and Lightning took their third win of the season in Melbourne.
Q1: LIG 21-12 MAG
With the centre pass in hand, Pies get the first point on the board through Shimona Nelson who is up against Jamaican teammate Kadie-Ann Dehaney. It’s a messy game to start, with both sides making uncharacteristic errors that saw the ball turn over multiple times. Steph sinks the first super shot of the game which pumps up KD, who responds down the other end with a tip to turn the ball over again. Steph goes for a second and third super shot where she nails both. In the defensive end, Lightning are happy to let the Pies take the one-point while double-teaming Sophie Garbin.
Q2: LIG 41-27 MAG
The Pies come in hot for the second quarter, but Lightning are able to hold strong and stop momentum swinging. It looks like Lightning want to pick the pace as they speed down court. Head Coach B brings Ash Ervin on and gives Karla Pretorius a rest which provides some impressive height in the circle for the Lightning defence. Two seconds into the Power 5, Steph adds another super shot to her stats sheet. KD picks up a flying intercept in the pocket which is set up by the hard work of Ash, Mahalia Cassidy and Laura Scherian out the front. Steph goes for super shot number five and sinks it. Karla returns to the court and grabs a classy intercept.
Q3: LIG 56-39 MAG
The Lightning line-up looks a little different to start the second half with Steph taking a rest on the bench. This brings Charlie Bell into GS and moves Koenen into GA. It takes a couple of centre passes to warm into the new line-up but they seem to settle and bring Charlie into the game. Karla picks up another intercept and Lightning’s defence are looking sharp, with KD causing confusion for the Pies feeders into Nelson. Steph returns to the court into GA after a strong performance by Charlie, pushing Cara back into GS. Pies try to force into the two-point zone but KP rejects the pass.
Q4: LIG 65-50 MAG
Lightning come out firing in the final quarter showing no signs of slowing down. KD, KP and Mahalia are causing headaches for the Pies attack-line who can’t seem to connect. Annie Miller takes a rest which brings Shannon Eagland into WD and moving Mahalia into C and Shez into WA. Mahalia doesn’t miss a beat, feeding a perfect ball into Cara from the edge of the circle. Magpies look to pick up some speed down the court, but Shannon disrupts quickly and tips the ball out of play. Pies take a time-out with eight minutes to go and Ash comes back onto the court. She instantly makes an impact, coming out for a brave pocket ball which causes a turnover. Pies are desperate for the super shot, but Ash and Karla make them work for it. Cara takes a rest and Charlie Bell comes back on in the last three minutes to finish the match.
Karla Pretorius finished on 120 Nissan Net Point and taking out player of the match. She finished with an impressive 10 gains, four intercepts, seven deflections and three rebounds. Her defensive partner in crime Kadie-Ann Dehaney had another strong match with six gains, one intercept and four deflections. Annie, Steph and Mahalia all shared the load with centre pass receives, finishing on 12, 13 and 12 respectively. Cara Koenen only missed one goal at 39/40.